Going to Youth Group for the Right Reasons

Ask Yourself...Why are You Going to Youth Group?

Why are you here? No, not here in the metaphysical sense, but why are you sitting in this room with dozens of other teenagers while worship music plays, the pastor preaches, and people kneel in prayer?  Think about it a second…why are you going to youth group?  Everyone has different ways of getting started in a youth group setting, but when it comes down to it, we should be going to youth group for the right reasons.

  Yet, what are those right reasons and how do we stay focused on them?

Ask the Important Questions

Why are you attending this youth group?  For may teens they start going to youth group because someone brought them there. Whether it was their parents deciding youth group was the next step in their kids’ spiritual growth or a friend asking a friend to come with them, everyone has a different reason for being there. However, what brings you in the door of the church is far less important than why you stay.  Sometimes we lose focus on why we’re going to youth group, and asking why you’re going to youth group is an important part in self discovery.

Do You Like the Answer?

So, now you’ve asked yourself the question of why you’re going to youth group, but take a look at your answers.  Are you going to youth group services and activities because you want a relationship with God?  To grow in your faith?

  What is it that brings you there?  A boy?  A girl?  To hang out with friends?  Yes, youth groups are a great place to be social and meet other Christians.  It’s nice to be there with friends to talk about what’s going on at school, who we’re crushing on, what we’re working on. There is nothing wrong with being social.

  There is nothing wrong with wanting to see youth group friends or wanting to hang out with them.  But that’s not the only reason we go to youth group, and when those things take precedence over a relationship with God, then maybe we need to re-evaluate what we’re doing there.

How Do I Focus on What’s Right?

So, maybe having a relationship with God isn’t at the top of our priority list when we show up to youth group.  Maybe we spend the entire service focusing on how our crush worships rather than on how we’re worshiping.  First thing is to decide if you want to change the way you’re looking at youth group.  Do you want to make the commitment to making youth group more about your Christian walk than about being social or finding a date?  Without making that commitment, it’s hard to make any changes.  We have to want to change for it to really stick.

The second thing is not to put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect about your focus.  No churchgoer pays attention in church with 100 percent focus all the time.  Life has  way of sliding into our thoughts as we’re singing, as the preacher is preaching, and more.  However, we need to catch ourselves when we realizing we’re losing sense of our priorities.

Decide what you want to get out of it.  Do you want to grow closer to God?  Do you want a more effective prayer life?  Maybe you want to go deeper into scripture.  Find out what you want to grow in your faith.  Sure, it’s easy to say you want to grow closer to God, but what does that mean for you.  The answer may not be instant and may take some time, but ask the question anyhow.

Talk to others about it.  Maybe sit down with a youth leader or pastor to discuss why you’re going to youth group and how you want to improve your Christian walk through it.  Let them know that your focus wasn’t always what it should be, but that you want to make it better.  Let them help and guide you when you find yourself backsliding.  It’s not as if youth leaders and pastors can’t see when students lose their focus, but a good youth leader will be there when the students ask for help putting God back at the top of the priority list.