There are broadly three types of youth groups for the church to consider.
Firstly, an open-access club as a safe space for any young people in the parish to get together. This would primarily be a social group, perhaps with a short element of faith content, or an invitation to join with other discipleship groups.
Secondly, an outreach/explore group which offers teens a place to explore spirituality and ask questions about the Christian faith e.g., a youth Alpha group.
Thirdly, a discipleship group which offers a space for young people to deepen their faith commitment and be accompanied along their journey by youth leaders who nurture and seek to help members discern their God-given gifts and sense of calling. This could include confirmation classes.
Be clear about what type of group the church wishes to offer. There are many good resources that include helpful ways to encourage healthy group dynamics and get the group talking. Offering food is usually a good idea and there are funding streams available.
How to start a Youth Group:
- See getting started pages.
- Consider the age range of the group, where to advertise and recruit group members e.g. from children’s groups or primary school leavers moving up to secondary school.
- Involve young people themselves in planning and reviewing how the group functions, including setting up the group space and reflecting on which resources, session plans and activities work best.
- Try to integrate the vision for this group within the wider ministry of the church – where do the young
- people come from and go to? Can young leaders be nurtured and serve in other church ministries?