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Youth Group Ideas for Small Churches: Help Your Ministry to Teens Thrive

youth group ideas for small churches
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Youth group ideas for small churches are always a big need. Discover how to lead an effective small-church ministry to teens.

For three decades, Stephanie Caro has helped youth workers through her books and her work with Ministry Architects. In this YS Idea Lab, the ministry veteran shares some of her best youth group ideas for small churches:

Don’t have time to watch the full interview? Then explore a few key points from the conversation about small-church youth ministry.

Youth Group Ideas for Small Churches: 5 Key Reminders

1. Most churches are small. 

First, know that if you’re a small-church youth worker, you’re not alone. In America, 90% of churches have fewer than 299 members. The average youth group in America has seven to eight students.

The good news is that lots of small churches know how to do sustainable youth ministry as a natural part of their DNA. Some of the many benefits of small church youth ministry include:

  • You can know every teenager’s name.
  • You can be present on every kid’s turf (school, programs, sporting events, etc.).
  • Quick, last-minute changes are easier.
  • You might be able to fit the entire youth group into one church van.
  • You can integrate student events into the larger church calendar.

2. Focus on doing a few things really well.

Next, realize the temptation of trying to keep up with the programming of larger churches. Unfortunately, you’ll then do things in a fairly mediocre fashion. But if you scale back and focus on a handful of things you can execute well? Then you can deliver a quality event or program despite limited resources.