Do these statements describe you? Then you may be killing your youth group!
1. Always ask, “Who else is going?” before you decide if you’ll go to an activity. Then you won’t be forced to spend time with people you don’t know very well or don’t won’t to be around.
2. Don’t go if you don’t get anything out of it. After all, the most important thing is that your personal needs are met.
3. Decrease your involvement with the youth group as you get older. Gradually drop out so that by the time you are a senior you are not expected to be there at all.
4. Choose to be as involved in as many other activities that you can. Work, chores, sports, homework, and other extracurricular activities are good excuses for not coming to a church activity.
5. Complain if what you are studying isn’t relevant. Ask to study nothing but dating, sex, substance abuse and other teen problems and act bored if you’re studying about Jesus, God or the church.
6. Never try to fit in or make anyone feel welcome to the group. Stay in your own clique and don’t talk to anyone else. Absolutely do not sit with anyone but your bestie.
7. Point to hypocrites for your lack of participation. You’ll be able to use this rule for the rest of your life. This also shifts the focus from you onto someone else.
8. Blame your authorities for everything. Do everything you can to damage their credibility. Then none of the kids will talk to him.
9. Do not tell your parents about youth activities coming up. If they don’t know about them then they won’t encourage you to go.
10. Never be honest about your relationship to the Lord. That honesty may force you to repent. Just “play” church.
11. Make commitments you don’t intend to keep. That way no one will ever depend on you for anything important.
12. Ignore any guilt you may feel over doing any of these things. It might make you change, so cover it up or ignore it.
If those statements described, then you may be killing your youth group. Here are some people that the Bible talks about that will hinder or hurt your youth group.
Proverbs 10:18 He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.
Psalms 101:5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
What is slander? It is criticizing, tearing down, or spreading negative things about others whether they are true or not. God does not take slander lightly. God calls the person that is a slanderer a fool. If God calls someone a fool, then I do not want to be that person. Teenagers, we need to be careful with our words. When we have a sharp tongue and we use our tongue to cut people down, gossip, or exaggerate stories about others we cause hurt and damage to that person. It would be a shame if a young person left the youth group or left the church because other Christian teenagers were spreading falsehoods or evening spreading true negative things about another teenager. The church is not where the perfect saints of God come to meet. The perfect place where the saints of God are is called Heaven, and until we reach that place people will make mistakes. As Christians we need to wathc our tongue. The Bible says that life or death are in the tongue and that if you can control your tongue you can control your whole body. Teenagers, be sure that you are not being a slanderer in your youth group.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
The devil does not like the work of the local church. Above all things, the devil does not like teenagers that are on fire for the Lord. There is great strength in a group of young people who love the Lord and are dedicated to serve Him. The devil knows this and will stop at nothing to disrupt or discourage the youth group of your church. The devil will attempt to steal the joy of your youth group. He will try to dissolve your youth group. We need to protect our youth groups at all costs. The devil is walking about seeking whom he may devour, and that is why we need to encourage others to stay within the fold of the youth group and church.
Proverbs 21:24 Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.
Proverbs 22:10 Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.
Job 16:20 My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God.
A scorner is someone that makes fun or light of something. A scorner is someone that thinks that they are above others. A scorner is someone that thinks they have everything under control and that they are “the big man on campus.” These are the hot shots of the youth group. Sometimes they are the popular people and sometimes it is the person that try to act like they are popular. These are the people that think that singing is for kids. These are the teenagers that are “too cool” to participate in the Sunday school games. These are the teenagers that never get involved in any activity or any trip or anything spiritual. Yet when it comes to playing sports or playing video games they all of a sudden are enthusiastically participate. These teenagers often will try to encourage others around them to not get involved and will make fun of those who enjoy the house of God. Be ware of these teenagers. Steer clear of those who do not enjoy church, for they are headed down a path that they will forever regret if they do not quickly turn back to God.
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1 John 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
One things that will decimate a youth group quicker than probably quicker than any of the other things that are mentioned is sin. These are actions that separate our hearts from God. These are actions that are completely opposed to God and the things of God. When we sin, we show to everyone that we do not respect God, we do not treasure the things of God, we have no desire for a relationship with God, and that we believe that we have a better plan for our life than God. Worldliness, carnality, sinfulness, wicked music, wicked entertainment, and other things that our flesh desire will not only hurt a youth group, but can put a strangle hold on the spirituality of a Christian young person. If there is sin in a youth group, there will be other problems. On the other hand if the youth group is striving to keep sin out, then that youth group will become more mature Christians.
Proverbs 16:5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
Proverbs 21:4 An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.
Proverbs 21:24 Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.
Proverbs 28:25 He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.
Everyone knows this type of teenager. This is the stereo type teenager. Everything is about them. The entire earth revolves around them just as it should. Pride is wicked before God and some teenagers are full of pride. These teenagers are never wrong, they think that they know everything there is to know and they can never be told anything. These teenager have heard every Bible story before and they walk around with their nose in the air. This is wrong. Even if you are being prideful about being spiritual it is wrong. The Bible says that we are supposed to be humble and that is proud is an abomination to the Lord. There is no person that is better than another. Every single teenager that walks through the doors of your youth department has the same opportunity to a better Christian than you are. Do not take for granted the blessing that you have. God has blessed you with people that care about you. Do not disappoint them by acting as if the world owes you a favor. Pride is never right. A “know-it-all” attitude is never right, so next time a visiting teenager comes into your teen department, go over to them and talk to them. Teenager get over your pride, and get out of your comfort zone and welcome the other teenagers. Maybe it is not visitors that you have trouble with. Maybe it is the other group of teenagers in your youth group. They are not your friends so you do not talk to them. Maybe they do not like the same things as you like, or have the same interests as you have so you label them as weird and shun them. This is pride and it will greatly effect your youth group if not dealt with.
Here are five kinds of people that will hurt your youth group. If you are one of these people, you need to talk to your youth pastor so you can grow. If you think there are people like this in your youth group, then you need to be a spiritual leader by doing the right thing. Do not go correcting people, that is the youth pastor’s job. Just be a friend, and always do the right thing. A youth group is only as strong as the weakest teenagers. Let us all decide that we are going to first do right ourselves and then decide that we are going to help our youth group. Don’t kill your youth group grow it.
Assistant | Youth Pastor
Clays Mill Baptist Church