The most amazing thing about being in the ministry for me has been seeing God work in our teenagers and watch them grow in their walk with Him! Through our regular class time, as well as activities, youth rallies, conferences, and camps, we try to make spiritual growth the focus of our ministry.
Throughout the year, we have a lot of fun activities; sometimes we have a devotion, and sometimes we just have fun together. I have found that simply building relationships is one of the most beneficial things you can do with activities; it helps the teens become more invested in the youth group, and in church in general! Last year I started doing an activity that I hope becomes an annual tradition: I call it the Youth Recharge.
The goal of the Recharge is simple: take one particular topic I think our teens really need, and take a few nights to preach on it! We include food and games as well, but the focus is on the preaching. It’s sort of like a youth rally, but just for us. The benefit of this is that I can really tune in and focus on what OUR teens need for the coming year!
Last year, our theme was “Take Up Your Cross”. I perceived that while we had a lot of “good kids”, not all of them were truly interested in walking with God. We had the Recharge three Saturdays in a row, and each week preached on the importance of taking up your cross and following Christ. There ended up being far more guests than I had expected, so I ended up shifting my focus to be more evangelistic for the last two meetings. It was a great event, and I have been in awe of how God has worked in the lives of our teens over the last year: they have been growing by leaps and bounds! Many of them have taken the message of last year’s recharge and taken up their cross.
This year, our theme is “Find Your Place”. I’m going to be preaching on spiritual gifts and the importance of each member using their gifts to serve God. My goal is to help them know that they have been given a spiritual gift, and that they need to use it to serve God! I want to see our young people to be actively involved in serving. Honestly, they are doing a great job already! Many of them have been stepping out and serving in some big ways that they have never done before. I want to encourage them to continue growing in that, and help them find some of the ways they’ve been gifted!
I think the Recharge is a very important event for our youth group to grow together. We have a lot of fun, and it gives me an opportunity to really challenge them to grow spiritually in one area that I can see we really need. You may find something similar to be helpful at your church!