K. WRITES: Okay, so I’m the newest member of my youth group (the only 8th grader and homeschooler). I’ve gone to this church my whole life. I was really excited to finally move up into the tight knit youth group. Unfortunately when I moved up I realized three things:
1. My youth group of 12 people is made up of really popular kids
2. They aren’t that welcoming and are troublemakers
3. They don’t pay attention to the lessons at all, and half don’t even know the Easter story.
This was really shocking to me. I have a welcoming Christian family and know many Bible stories. I felt like a outsider in my youth group! I thought youth groups were supposed to be welcoming and help each other grow in Christ. It’s started pushing me over the edge!
Once (I hate to admit it because it bruises my reputation) I decided to take a risk and went up on the roof (like 30 feet up) with them. That was one of the stupidest ideas ever! I was immediately told on by my brother…
Anyway, what can I do about this? Does anyone feel the same way?
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Hi, K.! I’m really not one that can help you much, as I don’t go to a youth group. However, if I can say this without anyone getting upset, you don’t have to go to a youth group. If the whole reason why the kids are there is just to have fun, and nobody is there for the learning and encouragement, then you don’t have to go! If you do stay, you also have this opportunity to share these Bible stories with them and be a positive example and a shining light for Christ. Be the change you want to see. If you stay, take advantage of that to be a good influence to those around you. Hope that helps some!
Hey K. i’m so sorry you are having such problems with your youth group. i regret to tell you that i don’t have such problems with my youth group. but their are kids who can be unwelcoming and cliche. the kids on the youth band can are cliche a lot but they are also super nice once you get to know them and most of them once you really start to get to know them have a heart to serve and not to perform. i guess what i’m trying to say is that i understand and know were your coming from 🙂 and just like @defyingdepravity:disqus said you don’t have to go to youth group if you don’t want to. i have a lot of friends that don’t go to their churches youth group but they go to some other churches youth group were they have more friends and feel more welcomed and such things as that! 🙂 pray about it talk to your parents follow your heart! And God!
I’ll be praying for you! As You Go!
I am sorry you have issues with your YG. Mine is awesome but it wasn’t always. I remember what it was like first walking in with everyone talking with there friends and I’ll admit I felt like an outsider. Now everyone knows each other is willing to talk and wants desperately to serve God.
So what happened? Why the change?
I believe the change occurred when I stopped getting upset with those around me and started praying for key people in my youth group to step up. Actually I got to meet a group of people (through praying) that felt as I did. Together we all prayed before every service and grew closer together as a youth group it was when we prayed that change happened. I am a firm believer that there is no great change without great prayer.
So first of all, if you want change pray for it! If you want God to move ask Him. He wants to move he is just looking for who is willing. As well, once you start praying look for how God might want to use you to be an answer to your own prayer.
Secondly I’d say to lead by example. You say they are uninterested in the lesson. Then you, instead of succumbing to this, follow God. People will begin to notice. Lead by example not by your words. Be the change you want to see in your youth group!
Hey Lydia! I know you’ve been on here for a little bit, but welcome to The Rebelution! 🙂
Thank you so much!!! I exceptionally excited to be a part!
Hi Lydia! I have had a similar experience with my youth group. It’s fantastic now, but for a while I kind of felt like I didn’t “fit in”. Great comment!
You know it’s all God! I’m glad He’s been working in your YG!
I personally made the decision to not attend the youth group at my church…
Not only did the youth act dumb but the youth leaders acted like they too had to act dumb in order to relate. So I decided to spend my “youth years” volunteering in some of the other ministries at my church.
Just because I wasn’t in the youth group didn’t mean I had to sit in a corner by myself! I taught Sunday school and AWANA. I was on the puppeteering and drama team. I worked with the sound and technical arts team… There are so many ways to serve! I didn’t just do challenges to raise awareness…(not that there’s anything wrong with it. I hope to join in on that Lyme disease challenge) But I raised actual money to send actual missionaries to serve actual people (or I went myself).
You may be ignored for breaking the trend or you may get others to join you in being an active disciple of CHRIST! (Which should be the purpose of every youth group or ministry)
Hey K! So, my YG isn’t like that most of the time, but it is only made up of a small group of people like yours. I know what it’s like not to fit in, especially in a small group, and it can be hard–really hard. But honestly, those kids seem to need more help than you do in this situation. If they don’t truly know the Lord, then you should focus on being a witness to them. And a lot of times, although it’s hard to believe, the kids who are really outgoing and seem to have all the friends and are the most popular, can be the kids who really are the most insecure and lost in their lives. Be kind to them and show them your true love of Christ. Show them how you’re different. And believe me I know it can be extremely difficult to go against the crowd, but we have to continually ask ourselves who we are living to please–ourselves, or God.
But then again, sometimes in those situations, all those people do is bring you down and hurt you. It might not be the best thing for you to stay in that Youth Group if that’s the case like @defyingdepravity:disqus said. But always go to God first either way!! I hope that helps a little! 😛
Hi K! I’m really sorry that you’re in this situation; I’ll be praying for you! Now, brace yourself, because this is going to get long. 😉
First off, I completely understand what it’s like to be in your position. When I first joined my (small, about the same size as yours) youth group, I was eleven years old (I was allowed in because I’m a grade ahead). Over the past six years, the dynamics have changed a lot, but for many of those years, it was the same type of thing. Clique-y. People only being there to hang out with their friends. People with no Bible knowledge whatsoever. It was extremely frustrating and depressing, and there were several periods in my life when going to youth group meant I would be going home in tears.
I considered just stopping going to youth group several times; there were several youth in our church who did that very thing. But looking back, I can tell you for a fact that things were the way they were for a reason, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Just so we’re clear, I’m saying that I wouldn’t change five years of mostly misery. It’s a big deal! Here’s why:
1. I grew as an individual. Had youth group been easy for me, I can say for certain that I would not be the person I am today. Being in that difficult situation drove me to do hard things. It brought me out of my shell. It taught me to think of others before myself. It showed me that we can rely on God for anything, even when our circumstances and friends fail us. I am a better person because my youth group was awful. Period.
2. It gave me an opportunity to make an impact in other people’s lives! I’ve had fellow youth come up to me and tell me that they see me as the “light of the youth group”, someone who is clearly following after God whole-heartedly. Now, the compliments aren’t the point. 😉 The point is that being in a dark place gives you all the more opportunity to “let your light shine before men”.
3. I grew as a Christian. Having a difficult youth group drew me closer to God. That’s what hard times do, and it’s important for us to see them as an opportunity, not to mope, but to experience God even more because of our weakness and our pain. That’s where He does His best work!
I remember being at a youth conference, and they were actually talking about this very thing: difficult youth groups. One girl said something like, “My youth group was extremely clique-y and closed-off for many years. It was not a good place to be. During my junior year, however, I decided to make a change. To lead by example what I thought the youth group could be. And it changed everything! My last year with my youth group has been the most amazing time of my life. We are on fire for God, and all I can say is that I wish I had done something sooner.”
That girl has no idea how much that inspired me, but what happened to her has become my story as well. I fought for years (years!) to change my youth group. Now, there were a lot of factors involved, so I’m not trying to take credit for something that was not my doing or anyone else’s–it was God’s. Near the end of my junior year, something changed. Instead of being a bunch of small, self-absorbed groups, we became whole.
I think (and I may be biased!) that a large part of this is due to my dad taking over the youth group a year and a half ago. He challenged my youth group in a way that, I believe, changed how we looked at things. He challenged us to lead by example. And not in the usual ways–to be role models for the little kids and such. He challenged us to be examples for the adults! To be so devoted to God that when the older members of the congregation looked at us, they would be inspired to examine and revive their own walk with God. And the effects have been amazing.
Now, I know a lot of people are saying and will continue to say that you should just leave your youth group. I completely understand that. But I just want you to know that that’s not the only option. In my case, I had to wait five years to see change, and I know that’s a lot to ask. But it really has been amazing. Youth group is now the highlight of my week. The people (many of whom have been here for years) are awesome. The lessons are powerful. People who left are coming back. We’re growing in size and as people, as Christians! It’s incredible.
Ultimately, this is between you and God. I don’t know your exact situation. Maybe you should leave. Or maybe God is calling you on a journey that may not be easy, but I’ve found that God’s way is always better than our own. I’d like to close with this thought: It can be easily to leave a youth group out of frustration, whether because of their immaturity or worldliness or rudeness or anything else. But if all the strong Christians left, who would there be to show them a better way? Just food for thought.
Anyway, that was incredibly long. If anyone bothered to read to here…well, you’ve basically read my testimony. This is a condensed (I know!) story of how God changed my life! So…if you read this far please leave a comment so I know I didn’t waste an hour of my life writing this. XD
God bless y’all!
Hey, long stories are welcome as long as they’re interesting! And yours qualifies! As interesting and long! 🙂 jk
Lol, thanks! 🙂
Pretty cool story Christy! My youth group is full of mostly homeschoolers and people who have been in church all their lives, so I can’t really help you K. Sorry.
Thank you! I’m glad you have a good group. 🙂
Christy, your story is so so so so (can I add another??) SO encouraging!! That’s awesome that you felt God calling you to make a change, and you obeyed – and now you see the results!! I can say that looking back, I’ve felt the same way about wanting to make change…I just haven’t followed through. But your story inspires me that it’s not too late! Thanks for sharing, and for the reminder to keep Doing Hard Things 🙂
I’m so (SO!) glad it inspired you! I know what it’s like to look back and wish that you had done something–it’s tough. But you’re right, it’s never too late, and I’m thrilled that my story reminded you of that!
I think that’s another blessing I’ve gotten out of it that I forgot: Being able to share my story! And you (and everyone else) have really blessed me today, so thank you!! 🙂
Haha, you did not just waste an hour of your life writing that. 🙂 I read it, that’s really cool how God used that experience in your life!
Awesome, thank you!!
AMEN!!! Could not have said this better! It’s important to be willing to do the hard things in life. A lot of the world is going to be just like this youth group. I’ve been there! What an awesome opportunity God has given you – to be a light for this small group. Don’t run from it! So glad Jesus didn’t 🙂
Exactly! 🙂 Thank you for the encouragement!!
Btw, are you new to the Reb? 🙂
Wow!! That’s awesome! God can use us when we are willing to be used!
That’s exactly it! 😀 Thanks for taking the time to read it, that means a lot to me!
Wow! Thanks for all of that Christy! That was awesome! I have been so frustrated at my church lately and wondering why God would have my family and I there…. But this is a reminder I needed! Thank you for typing it all out! It was appreciated and definitely not a wasted of an hour of your life! Thanks!
It means so much to me that this helped you!! If the only thing I got out of the experience was the opportunity to encourage others, that would be enough. 🙂 I’ll be praying for you!
And hey, are you new to the Reb? 🙂
Thanks Christy! And yeah I am pretty new to the Reb. Just got and read the book twice about two weeks ago! Really was liking what I have been reading and when I saw this I was blown away!
Awesome, I know the feeling! Welcome, then! I know you’ll love it here. 🙂
Hey, K., I’m afraid I can’t address specifically what you’re facing since I don’t attend Youth Group. However, I know exactly what you’re talking about when you say that kids 1. aren’t welcoming and 2. aren’t focused on the things of God.
The thing I’d tell you to remember is that you don’t need to be popular. It may be hard to convince yourself of that, but a few really good friends who will challenge you to be like Christ are 100 times more beneficial than all the other kind of friends combined. Don’t feel like you have to be popular at the expense of taking a stand and being a light for Christ!
So, I don’t know what your church is like, but there are usually some focused young people there somewhere who probably feel the same way you do. I know it’s that way at my church (@defyingdepravity:disqus) , it just took a while for us to find each other! Please, please stay strong, and find friends who will help keep you strong!
Also, don’t read this as, “You must leave!” You can still be a part of YG, just maybe don’t expect your spiritual nourishment for the week there. It might be your spiritual challenge for the week! But you can show others what it means to follow Christ as a teenager. I know part of the reason I am who I am (not that I’m amazing!) is because I knew several older teenagers when I was much smaller that I decided I wanted to be like. They took an interest in me and helped shape me, and they influenced my life greatly, for the good! You can do the same!
That’s awesome! And it’s always good to challenge yourself to not rely solely on church for your spiritual needs, even if the teaching is great.
You worded that way better than I could ever have and I totally agree with you!!!!!!
Also, K., check out revivingtheredeemed.org — it’s a really great place to meet like-minded Christian teens. 🙂
I second what @ilovetolaugh:disqus says about Revive! Seriously, K, check it out! A lot of us teens from The Rebelution are on there, and it’s so cool to connect with like-minded people!
I third what @Annalysa said about Revive. The people on there have given me a lot of support.
I fourth what @Annalysa said about Revive! The only bad part is that now I want to meet all these people in person!
Woah, Annalysa! Your username that comes up when I tag you is awesome!! 😀
haha @Cassie – what is it?
@ilovetolaugh:disqus let me check again…
It’s ‘ilovetolaugh.’ So awesome. XD
oh, yeah 🙂 all the other usernames were taken up. 😛
sorry, just had to do that. living up to my username, you know. 🙂
It’s a group of teens (mostly from here) that joined up to share prayer requests and other similar things together on a website @Sam S. headed up for us. It’s worth checking out!
How do I join? Do I have to sign up to the website?
Let me see, if you follow that link, it should take you to a sign-up/login page. Yes, you do have to sign up.
Check it out – there are a whole bunch of rebelutionaries on there. it’s super cool.
SHAMELESS PLUG FOR REVIVE! =)
So good to hear that Taylor! I had a similar experience. I was more serious than the kids around me but because they didn’t really care, it kinda strengthened the wild streak in me. It wasn’t until I accidentally found some godly young people close(ish) in age to me who took me under their wing and helped me grow that I became who I am. If it hadn’t been for them I’d probably be even more of a pain than I am now and a whole lot less serious about the things of God.
Yep, I know the feeling! 🙂 And it means it’s important for those of us that have experienced that that we share it with others! We too should try to influence those younger than us for Christ!
I hope to one day be even half the blessing to others that need it that my friends have been to me 🙂
Same here! Thanks, you’ve encouraged me to keep trying!
I would advise you as My Mother Advised me once, and tell you that you might have been put there in that YG Specifically because they are not strong Believers (or Believers at all) and that you can be a light to them.
I know what you’re going through to a degree and I sympathize with you. My family started going to our church about eight months ago and my younger siblings and I have been going to youth group for about at long.
We don’t really relate to anyone there very well and none of them seem to really have any sense of yearning for Jesus. It’s really worldly and unbiblical. We’re actually considered real weirdos for knowing and caring about God’s Word.
I think that even though it’s hard, and I know it is hard, you can do it. Push through and be a light to the people there.
One of the most important things for me in this has been having a strong home base. If you’re in a situation like that it’s the best to have your family firmly grounded in what you guys believe together and encouraging one another in studying the Bible and prayer. I don’t know what I’d do without that.
Praying for you and I hope it gets better. Don’t give up!
Hey Emerald! Welcome to The Rebelution!!
Thank you! I’ve been lurking for a long time but I finally caved in and joined everybody 🙂
Yay, no more lurking!! Welcome! 😀
Glad you did! 🙂
Hey K! Definitely know where you’re at, although my group is a bit bigger. My youth pastor is great, the kids in youth not-so-much (I actually have aged out). For the brief time I attended youth group, I listened to the message, and during fellowship time I knitted until it was time to go. My suggestions would be thus [sorry about the outline format its just how I think:)]
1) You could attend an adult class. I went to adult class for ages and loved it. The lessons are generally more intensive, and the fellowship more constructive. I learned so much I would not’ve learned in youth, and made mentor relationships which have been of great benefit to me. It is hard not to have ‘young’ friends, but I’ve found that in the long run, the ‘older’ friend are the best ones.
2) You could attend the lesson only. If the teaching is great but the group is influencing you in a bad way by all means avoid temptation! (Bad influence is why I didn’t attend much youth group so don’t feel bad!)
3)Perhaps you could ask your youth pastor if instead of just hanging out, he could come up with some inclusive games. He may be unaware of the issue (Matt 18:15-“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”-could very well apply here)
4) You could attend another church’s youth group (its not a crime!). Perhaps you have a homeschool friend who attends a different youth group you could visit.
5) You could pray for grace and change the group you’re in!
Really I think it depends on your personal need. If you are in need of sound teaching and good influence, you may consider leaving the group for another option. If you feel called to influence the group, go for it! I would pray with your parents about where you are in life, and make decisions accordingly.
K, You’re not alone (in two senses) I have a very similar situation: The only homeschooler, a great christian family who has taught me so much more than most people about the Bible. The only thing, I’ve moved around A LOT. But most of the youth groups I’ve been to, have been like this. This is how I deal with it: PRAYER! Pray that God will send someone who shares your passions. Also, use this opportunity to lean heavily on your family. Chances are, they’ll be thrilled to help you through this trial in your life. Also, don’t forget that God is the PERFECT friend. Hang in there…God sees your pains, and will always, always do the absolute best thing for you. Maybe this is to grow your faith, or give you a witnessing opportunity to the other kids, even though they are older!
Hey, Christy! (We have the same name!!) Great thoughts! 🙂 Are you new to the Reb?
Haha! Yeah we do! I’ve actually been reading this blog for awhile, but this is the first time I’ve ever commented 🙂
Awesome! Welcome to the comment section, then! So what brought you here?
Wow…I think I’ve met two other people with my name in my life, but you’re the first one I’ve met that spells it the same way!! (Lol, sorry if I’m getting way too excited!)
Well, I found out about the blog from the book (Which I love, by the way) and to the comments, my similar situation 🙂 Hey, I completely understand your excitement! You’re the first person who spells it the same as mine too! 🙂
Cool! It is an amazing book!
So I see from your bio that you’re a writer and a musician as well! What instruments do you play?
I play guitar, learning piano, and I sing! Ive been singing solos since I was four 🙂 lol
Awesome! I play piano and I sing as well. 🙂 I tried learning guitar, but it just didn’t happen. Now I’m working on violin.
That’s funny, because I tried violin awhile back, but just didn’t have enough patience back then…I should really try learning it again! 🙂
Cool! 🙂 I was trying to teach myself, but I’ve decided that I’m going to invest in lessons later this year. The self-taught route has just never worked for me. 😛
That is the same for me, except the guitar. The guitar was fairly easy for some reason…everyone is different I guess!
My mom is named Christy, and she spells it the same way and everything. 🙂 But I guess you’ve never met her, so she might not count…
That’s cool! But yeah, I’m sure there are a lot of people out there that spell it that way, but I haven’t met them! Of course, there’s the Christy book series, if that counts. 😉
Glad to have you participating in the discussion, Christy. Great comment!
I’m the only homeschool in my Sunday School too! It is not always easy when you don’t know anyone and don’t have much in common with people to get to know them. Thanks for the reminder to pray about the situation, and lean on God for a friend!
Of course! Glad to hear I encouraged you! It always helps when I talk to God about my problems and hardships.
I don’t want to give an easy answer, because there is a lot going on here, and it is frustrating. I went through the same thing in my youth group. I responded harshly and criticized my youth group publicly on facebook. I felt I was better than the other students (which revealed my lack of maturity and pride). I deeply regret doing this, because it hurt my relationship with my youth pastor and definitely didn’t help the situation. Criticism and harshness brings death, but honor and encouragement brings life and blessing. This is an opportunity to respond in honor and Christ-likeness. Talk to your youth pastor honesty about the situation and ask him for wisdom (but do this one-on-one, not in front of other students obviously). Submit yourself under your leader and support their vision and ministry, and you will be a welcomed blessing! Deep inside, other students are broken and need Jesus, just like me! Pray for other students, that Christ would be made the center of their lives and they would live to bring Jesus glory. Ask/anticipate God to do big things and turn your world upside down! 🙂
Question: Does anyone else have trouble with youth groups?
My current youth group is HUGE, but like yours, a lot of people aren’t focused on God. However, my small group leaders have made a huge effort in our group to (A) be welcoming and (B) get deep spiritually. So, I guess I can’t offer much advice, aside from echoing what @Kittenese:disqus said. Just remember that God has you where you are for a purpose! Also, maybe have a chat to the leaders. It could be that they are just as frivolous as the kids. But you might find that many of them struggle with how the youth group is at the moment, and yearn to change it, but don’t know how.
Aw, I’ve been tagged! *dreamy smile* But you’re totally right about the youth leaders struggling as well. It’s not always the case, but just because they don’t show it doesn’t mean they aren’t! (Insight from the daughter of a youth pastor:)
Haha Christy, you’re awesome. 🙂
Ooo, you’re a youth pastor’s daughter! *files away piece of information under ‘Christy’ in draw ‘random info about the awesome teens on the Reb.’*
Haha, you’re awesome!! That really made me smile. 😀
A filing system is a good idea… I am forever forgetting who said what on here. XD
🙂 Thanks girl!
Yeh… my filing system does occasionally spontaneously rearrange itself, rendering some pieces of information irretrievable or under the wrong name….
Ah, in that case we’re pretty much in the same boat. 😀
And now that there are two Christys on here…that’s just going to be strange! I’ve already managed to confuse myself several times. XD
Oh gosh yes. 😛 It’ll be like the Amanda’s, except that you both have no surname/initial!
Yes!! Maybe I should add my last initial now…but I may have an identity crisis! 😮 lol
Oh, we wouldn’t want that! Then you’d have to submit a DQ asking ‘who am I?” 😛
LOL. I challenge thee to answer!
No, I wouldn’t ask you to answer something I don’t even know the answer to! Haha! Jk
You are… um… Oo, oo, I know!!! YOU!!!
*gasp* ..must… *gasp* …breathe!…
Haha, glad I made you laugh. 😀
Isn’t it a great feeling? Such a sense of accomplishment. 😉
What, there’s two Cassies, or two Christys? I’m confused… No surprise there!
Two Christys, lol 🙂
OH NO! Don’t change your profile pic, Christy-with-sunglasses-and-black-hair! I would have absolutely no idea who you were!
Oooohhhh, the temptation!!
And my hair is brown. 😉 Dark brown, but still brown.
You wouldn’t dare, would you?
Oh well, I’m looking at a tiny picture…
I don’t know…the next April Fool’s is just too far away. Any other suitable dates? 😉
Lol, yeah, I’ll admit it does look sort of black in that pic. So…I guess you’re forgiven…this time. 😉
I might regret this, but… In my family it goes through April, to some extent, so you could still try it! 😉
Thank you so much!
Haha, I’ll think about it. Today I’m just too tired to want to mess with it. I went to bed at three last night…sooo tired… 😛
Wow, you must be tired! I was going to ask — how did it go?
It was overall really good. 🙂 Had some fun dances and just chatted and hung out all night. On the downside, the music was mostly awful (and so so loud) and the dancing (that the other people were doing) was disgusting. But we had our little group of awesome people and it ended up being a good night. 🙂 Thanks for asking!!
I’m glad you had fun 🙂
@Christy, at least your name isn’t Hannah. 😉 Just about every homeschool family has a Hannah, so being on a blog like this where there are lots of homeschoolers means there are about a million Hannah’s commenting. 😉 But I actually really love my name, it just gets confusing if there are like five Hannahs in one room. Haha!
True, I know a lot of Hannah’s! It is an awesome name, though; the Biblical Hannah was an amazing woman! 🙂
Yes, I love the story of Hannah in the Bible! Makes me pretty happy to be named after her. 😉
*reads your bio* Wait a second…you swing dance?!?! 😀 Me too!!
Haha! Yes, a little. I am not much good at it at all and have only done it more in the past two years or so. College life takes up a large part of my life, but occasionally I will participate in a swing dancing party. How long have you been doing it? Do you do it often?
Cool! What are you studying in college? Haha, I’ve been doing it for all of two months, but I’ve been told I’m picking it up very quickly! I’m already in love with it. 🙂 I get to do it maybe once every couple of weeks. Prom is Friday, so another opportunity to swing!
Thats great! I was told that I picked it up quickly as well, but I just don’t do it often enough to really remember everything. Right now I am studying things like history, literature, philosophy, and learning Greek. I don’t know if you have heard of John Piper or not, but I go to a college that is connected with the church he used to be pastor of.
I can understand that. Even after just a couple of weeks, my brain will fail me and I’ll just totally forget something. XD I have heard of him, that’s cool! Do you enjoy it?
Well, I wouldn’t exactly say that I enjoy it or at least not all the time. The college I go to is really strenuous and intense and I tend to be a slow learner when it comes to academics so I find it particularly challenging at times. Yet even with all the challenges, tears, panic attacks, wishing to die moments, and melt downs, I am still very thankful to be here at this school learning the things I am learning, because it has changed my life and caused me to grow in so many ways and I see God’s love for me so much more clearly than when I began. So, no, it is not necessarily enjoyable, but completely worth it. 😉
Wow, it sounds intense! I’m really glad it’s worth it, though! Maybe “enjoy” wasn’t the best way for me to phrase the question. 😉 Any advice for someone with college looming in the near future?
@Kittenese:disqus, is there anyway I could contact you personally? I would love to continue this conversation and answer any questions you have about preparing for college, etc, but didn’t want to go to far off the original topic (although I see that happens all the time around here. Haha!). But that may not be possible, in which case I will glad to just answer on here. 😉
It’s a good idea. I don’t like going off topic either (even though I do it all the time XD), but I can’t think of anything that would work. :/
I’ve been thinking about a question that I haven’t really found anyone to ask yet. You clearly go to a Christian college. It’s kind of an odd question, but I’m wondering if, despite that, have you had any struggles staying grounded in your faith? Does the Christian college environment encourage it or not bother it or is it hurting it somehow? It’s something that’s concerned me a lot.
Sorry, I’m really struggling with how to phrase it. I hope that makes sense!
@Kittenese:disqus, I am writing a response and will comment soon. Just wanted you to know I am not ignoring your questions. 😉
@Kittenese:disqus, that is a great question! I am glad you asked. I will do my best to answer, although I may not be the best one to ask, as my college experience has probably been really different from most peoples. 😉
I think it first depends a lot on how rooted you are in the gospel and in your faith before going off to college. If one is not firmly rooted in the gospel than any college could be harmful. It also depends on what college one chooses to
attend. Some Christian colleges are becoming more and more liberal, thus, a Christian may not thrive as much in that atmosphere and may even find it more harmful than at a community college. For example, my roommate attended a liberal Christian college for a year and found it to be destructive and discouraging to her faith while she was in that environment. In my situation, I attend a very strong, solid, and Biblically based college, so although it is a very challenging school academically and I have gone through many trying times since coming here, it has brought me into a closer relationship with Christ and given me a greater understanding of who he is. This college also does a good job of presenting other religions and showing how they are wrong, so it has helped me to know how to better defend my faith. I also have a wonderful community of Christian friends, mentors, and professors here who have really invested in my life and encouraged me in my walk with Christ, not to mention, a wonderful church in which I have been able to serve in and grow at, of which I
think is really important to have no matter what college you go to. Yet depending on the college you go to, you may have to be more intentional in seeking these things out, but the one who is firmly rooted in Christ will want
this for their life, while the one less grounded may not make much of an effort to do so and than end up in the wrong crowd.
Over all, I think that if you attend a strong biblical college than you will most likely find it to build you in your faith rather than harm your faith. Yet, I think if you were to choose a community college instead of a Christian college, then you could thrive there as well, but would need to be more intentional about seeking out Christian communities and such.
Sorry my response is so long. I hope that it answers your question and that you may find it somewhat helpful. I will be praying for you as you begin to explore colleges for your future. If you have any more questions please feel free to ask. And if you are interested in the college I attend, I would love to direct you to more information on it. As you may have figured out, I go to a rather unique college, but if you are up for the challenge, than it may be a good place to go. 😉
Thank you for putting so much time into answering my question! I understand what you’re saying, and I think I might have already experienced some of it. some visits to a very liberal “Christian” college, I felt very uncomfortable just with the things they said. I think I would rather go to a non-Christian college than one that only claims to be.
But putting that aside, I appreciate the offer to give me info on your college. The thing is, I really want to stay close to home (say, within a few hours), so that cuts back on my options greatly. That being said, I’ve already fallen in love with a college that I do believe has a very strong, Biblical foundation, so hoorah! 🙂
Thank you again! And…oh, I have thought of something else. 🙂 Do you see much point in pursuing outside scholarships? The odds are so slim that I’ve just gotten very frustrated and I’m feeling like I’m wasting my time applying to them, you know?
Yay! I am glad you found a college that you really like. Do you mind me asking what the name of it is? I am just curious if I have heard of it before or not.
As far as scholarships go, I can’t really offer any advice, because at the college I attend they don’t except any kind of outside scholarships that I am aware of, so I never even applied to any. Sorry, I can’t help with that question.
Will you be heading off to college next fall? Such exciting new adventures await when college life hits! 😉
Swing dancing is so fun!
Lol, this is like Blimey Cow! Say a few words and all the fans move in… XD
Blimey Cow!!!! I love Blimey Cow!!! XD XD
Ha, I see your point.
Hey DefyingDepravity, I haven’t seen you on Revive. Do you plan on joining us?
I hope to at some point, hopefully soon! I keep hearing all these great things about it… 🙂
It is awesome!
Ha, I have now! 🙂
Are you the user whose first name is similar to mine?
You guys swing dance?!?!?!?!?! ME TOO!
WHAT?! Why didn’t you tell me?!! XD How long have you been doing it?
I don’t know! How do I just say “Hey guys, I swing dance.”? XD I’ve done it off and on for about a year as part of a drama program.
Lol! That’s awesome!! 😀 What style do you do?
I have no idea. Somebody usually just comes and takes my hand and says “This is swing dancing.You’re gonna twist seven different ways and blow peoples minds.” so honestly I don’t know style I’m doing. 😀 I love it though!
Haha! XD That works. And the blowing people’s minds part–too true!! So you don’t have one person you usually swing with?
No, no I don’t. I don’t have time for a committed dance-partnership right now. I don’t want them tying me down and stuff. Yah know? 😀 XD
Noooo…. It’s too funny!!! *dies (again)*
This is just a norm for Christy. If I had a dollar for every time she “comment-died”…
Haha! I hadn’t seen it before…
I do that a lot?! I didn’t even realize. 😮 Well, it’s y’all’s fault–you’re too funny!!
Yeah, I’m pretty sure I died earlier too, I just can’t remember why. XD
Yes, I know how you feel! I love your name, btw!!! 😉 Anyways, I used to keep track of how many Hannah’s I knew, but when the number started flying above 20, I gave up. 🙂 Now I’m surprised if I go somewhere with a bunch of homeschoolers and there ISN’T another Hannah in the group! haha
Haha! @hannahmcintosh:disqus, I use to count how many Hannah’s were in my church. There were quite a few of us, including the pastor’s daughter. 😉
This probably isn’t helpful but there’s plenty good advice here so I’ll opt for trying to cheer you up a bit instead. Try this:
BLIMEY COOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!!!! <3
Now there’s going to be a discussion about this.
Allow me to console you about that thought *shuffles closer* [insert creepy oooh] *awkward sidehug*
*snickers* … *tries to hold it in* … *dies laughing*
I love it!!! XD XD
Maybe I could cure you of that with some antibiotics 😛
If I could hit that upvote button 42 more times, I would.
Because that is the answer to llife the universe and everything?… 😛
You are amazing! I–aaahhhh!!! I think I just sprained my eyebrows!!
LOL!!!! Oh man, you guys crack me up. 😀
Oh, no! Do you get red hands?!?!
anti-bi-o-tics just to say that I tried 🙂
Haha! I just read that in Big Head Kid’s voice! xD
Oh boy, Brett gets tons of comments now…
It’s dangerous to bring Blimey Cow into a civilized conversation.
I can’t not read that word in his voice anymore!
(Forgive my double negative:)
Double negatives are never not acceptable!
nice XD I didn’t not not see that coming. Wait…what? 😛
I am not un-confused…
Oh dear! I can’t not do this anymore!
Umm I’m lost… seriously maybe we should stop xD
Yeah, lol XD
Lol, I thought of that too. 😀
Hahaha! Literally right before I came on the Reb and saw this post I was watching this video…
This is hilarious!!
I love that one!!
After watching this for the first time I’ve always been semi-nervous about being the “sheltered kid” without knowing it…
I know right?! Because…let me think…wait! Ok, our youth group does have a sheltered kid (that’s not me!). Whew…
Although, come to think of it, being sheltered isn’t totally a bad thing…
Definitely, but to an extent… the world definitely does NOT need more Big Head Kids. 🙂
Lol, yeah…I’ve met a few of them! Though it didn’t occur to me until just now that that’s who they are, and now I can’t stop laughing! XD
Hahaha! Someone brought in Blimey Cow! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I knew it would come up sooner or later 🙂 @ruthie_c:disqus @disqus_N3wyQSXW1f:disqus
Blimey Cow tells it like it is;)
This is difficult, and I’m really sorry!
I’m kinda on the other side of your situation. I’m also part of a 12 teen youth group, and we’re tight knit. I’m considered one of the main peeps (if thats even a thing in a twelve person YG!) because my dad is one of the elders of the church. Back when there was only five of us, I was kinda opposed to visitors. I liked our group the way it was and didn’t want change. But I got passed my own selfish intentions and realized that youth group isn’t about playing games and hanging out with your friends. It’s about studying God’s word with like-minded people and holding each other accountable.
I was the only one who recognized this. Everyone else was perfectly happy with goofing off during lesson and praying that we’d play a certain game during prayer time and not including new people. It got me so frustrated. I wanted to quit. I was beginning to despise youth group. No one was changing!
Then it hit me. No one was changing… not even me. I was actually leading some of this nonsense. Maybe others were realizing that youth group wasn’t what its meant to be, but didn’t want to lead the change. So I put on my Big Girl Pants and walked into youth group the following week with a changed mindset.
I influenced the teens more than I thought I could, and people began to build respect for the leaders and include new people and love each other.
Sooooo whats the point of this extremely long comment? If you wish to see change, be change. Ask God to use you as a leader and example for the teens in the youth group. Step up and do something hard: go against the flow. It’s NOT easy. But you impact the group in a way that you wouldn’t if you conformed to their patterns and ways. I’ll be praying for your situation!
Be the change you want to see 🙂 I didn’t know it worked till I tried it either.
Amen! We need to put on our Big Girl Pants. XD Good for you!
I’m sorry I can’t relate. I actually have a great youth group and church family. I would recommend talking to your youth pastor, or go to the adult church. If you have that congregation that’s not really close, then I’m out of ideas.
Thanks for this question! My answer is yes! I think the reason why they aren’t willing to come out of that tight knit group is because they are afraid. The unknown scares. And if they don’t know you, they are likely to stay within their comfort zone, with all of the people they know. Christ has not called us to be comfortable, He has called us to further His kingdom and most of the time that means being uncomfortable.
So, talk to your leaders about it and pray for strength to be the change in your youth group. You can’t just want the change, you need to be it. Organize a party at your house and invite the youth group. Do a coat drive or a Operation Christmas shoebox youth group project. These activities are likely to draw the group together and have some fun while also instilling deep spiritual meaning.
Lastly, don’t judge others for their ignorance. I do this all the time!!! And it is a terrible habit. But what has helped me is this: Love them as God has loved you! Don’t scowl at their shallow and foolish ways, because the danger of this is becoming an accidental pharisee. I was ignorant, shallow and foolish before God’s grace got to me 🙂 I am to do nothing less than to show that grace to others.
I will be praying for you K.!
Great advice! I would just add that we don’t have to do “big” things like hosting parties or organizing events to change a group of people. We can begin to change them just by starting conversations with them, and letting your light shine in everything you do and say. 🙂
Definately! I just meant that it is good to have basis with them so that it’s not entirely awkward when you walk up to them and start talking randomly and they are like “Umm who are you?” Instead they’ll recognize you for being that girl who hosted the party or started the coat drive project.
Sorry for making you read that painfully long comment. I’m new here and I’m learning how to be concise in my writing:)
Good point! And don’t apologize, it was a good comment! Oh, I didn’t realize you were new, I thought you were a different Kate, lol. 🙂 Welcome to the Reb!! What brought you here?
I have been getting that a lot haha. This one guy a couple days ago said something like, “Oh I thought you were another Kate.” Anyway, I had read the Do Hard Things and Start Here a couple years ago. I was really inspired. I have started a ministry to support girl’s education in Rwanda. And connected here through the website. I hope to write an article or story soon and publish it on the Reb! It’s just been amazing to connect with other teens!
Haha, well I’m glad it wasn’t the only one. So if you haven’t really been welcomed yet, I guess you know why!
That’s really awesome!! And you absolutely should submit something to the Reb! Oh, I know exactly what you mean. It has been such a blessing for me to come here and see that I’m not as alone in doing hard things as it may sometimes feel. 🙂
Have you ever submitted anything?
No, but I’m planning on it! The thing is, I have a blog that I’ve been falling behind on writing lately. So I’d like to get caught up on that before I submit anything here, you know?
That’s really cool! What’s the name of your blog? I would like to read some:) I’ll be looking for your article when it comes out!!
And I would love for you to read it! 🙂 It’s https://theteentheme.wordpress.com And thanks! Hopefully I’ll be submitting it soon!
Yah! I’ll check it out:)
Awesome! Let me know what you think! 🙂
Hey, here is your official invitation to the Wordy Club! I apologize for my wordiness in emails and comments all the time! I just can’t say everything I want to say quickly…
sigh…my daily struggle:)
I’m going to claim it’s because we have so much wisdom it’s just overflowing! I’m afraid it’s not the real reason with me anyway, but I can pretend, can’t it?!
Haha that’s what I’d like to think! I pretend all the time:) I am with you.
I’m having a similar problem right now too! I am new to this church and have started going to Sunday school. The kids aren’t misbehaving, they just aren’t very welcoming! It seems like I always end up being the one sitting at the end of the row with no one to talk to, other than the teacher who makes sure to welcome me. I would suggest praying about it, and maybe making the decision to leave the youth group if things can’t be resolved. Also talk to the leaders and your parents to see if things could be fixed!
Hi there, Rebecca! You’ve just showed up over at Revive, right? Glad to have you!
*Checks profile* Whoa, hold on — are you the Rebecca who I’ve chatted with before?! I didn’t recognize you with a profile picture!
Yep, just joined Revive today! (saw the link in the comments on here 🙂
I think we have talked a little in the comments. I just got a profile picture yesterday. Figured that I should have one if I’m going to comment often!
I feel the exact same with my group! Basically, I feel like I am around some of the most immature kids in my grade and that they will never grow up! I’ve been in the group of about ten boys for two years now, and they just don’t pay attention or listen during the group time. One question, what are good things to study at youth small groups?
Welcome to The Rebelution, Matthew!
Hey, Matthew! Welcome to the Reb! (I actually know a Matthew B. at my church!) What do you mean? Like subjects or books of the Bible?
Uh, subjects I guess. Just general topics that are good to study in the youth group.
Then I can’t really help, sorry! We rarely tackle specific subjects. We pick a book and work our way through it, and see where it takes us. Verse by verse, chapter by chapter. 🙂 And I love that!! (Calvary Chapel, yay!!)
Hmm… good question. Here’s a brief list off the top of my head:
Baptism, holiness, the fruit of the Spirit, peace of God, evangelism, giving, love, purity.
Maybe you guys could do the Do Hard Things study!!! Doing hard things for Christ could change anybody’s life!!!
I think apologetics is always a good option:) Welcome!
Wow! I’m sorry your youth group is so terrible! My youth group is mostly homeschoolers, and we don’t really have a ton of issues. I will definitely pray for you and all these other people who seem to be having a hard time. 🙁
I think you need to take the initiative and start trying to change people instead of waiting for them to change. If you don’t defy authority like they do, they’ll notice! And when you guys are just talking with each other, bring up Christ, the Bible, or even the Rebelution! Even the smallest things can make a difference. I’ve been in your same situation before! If you ever talk one on one with any of them, open up! Tell them about any hardships or trails you have faced, and maybe they’ll tell you theirs!
Welcome to The Reb, Aubrie! Wow, there are a lot of new people commenting here!
Apparently so! I love the discussions! I was just reading the Blimey Cow conversation. Hilarious!
Haha, yep, we can get pretty crazy sometimes!!
True! I’ve been on the Rebelution since October and I’m so glad it’s here!
Me too! Best site on the Web, in my humble opinion.
No joke! I also love writing so I’m working on an article for the Rebelution!
Ooo! Hopefully I’ll get to see it soon then!
It’s still in the prewriting stage right now though.
I shall be the epitome of patience. 😛
🙂 That’s good
Wow, can you teach me? I have yet to learn what this “patience” means…
On second thoughts, maybe I’m not the epitome of patience after all…
Haha. 🙂 You’ve probably got it down better than I do!
Oh, I doubt that! Maybe when it comes to blog post… but that’s about it…
Man, you’ve got me beat in too many ways! You’re an excellent writer, you get me motivated, and you have more patience than I do! What else can you put me to shame with? 🙂 jk
Aww, you’re too sweet, Lauren. 🙂 You’re awesome too! That Jeremiah post yesterday… <3
Aw, thanks! It was YOUR post that got me started! Actually, it was your post that truly got me into a book of the Bible. I had been trying to read through Job, and it wasn’t coming along so well, consistency and motivation wise. So thank you!
You’re welcome! Glad my posts are are used by God to inspire. 🙂
Patience is my strength! I will wait patiently for the article to come out…
C’mon, where is it?…
Alright, I give up, I’m leaving. 🙂
Haha Taylor! 😛
I didn’t actually leave apparently…
Keep persevering!!! 😛
At leaving, or having patience?
Ah, I meant at staying/perseverance 🙂
Ah, I’m trying!
Great! I hope to see it 🙂
Well said, Aubrie; welcome!! 🙂
I may be repeating a lot of what people are saying, but here’s my two cents:
1. Humbly take your concerns to the head youth leader or another leader. Basically, go to someone who you know will listen. The leaders are there because they love you. If they are aware of the issues, then ask what they’re doing to solve the problems and how you could potentially help.
2. Be a leader. Set an example. Engage in lessons, and respect authority. You get the idea. These are the students the leaders appreciate so much.
3. Don’t forget: These kids (your peers), no matter who they are, or where they are in life, need love. Sometimes the happiest people are the ones who aren’t doing so well (I was that person for awhile). But also don’t create issues where there aren’t any.
4. This goes along with #2: Ask to do something more when you meet for youth group. It could be helping to set up or tear down, run any sort of tech needs, or even teach one night.
5. Make new friends and deepen existing relationships.
6. Pray. This one is most important.
Youth group is where I have made some the best friends in my life. I have enjoyed it so much, I plan on majoring in Youth Ministry in college beginning this fall (Lord willing).
After trying, if it turns out this youth group hasn’t shown signs of changing, and it’s more damaging to you than helpful, I might consider finding another one. But don’t leave without trying to find your place in the group. Be humble and willing to learn. And remember you are a servant of God.
This is really great advice! Thanks:)
I had a similar experience with my youth group but I was new even to the area, the church and the youth group (I was 15) I was really disappointed with the seeming lack of depth in relationships and lack of interest in God.
Here is my opinion-
~pray continually for the people in your group
~1 Timothy 4:12 don’t be ashamed to be different
~be willing to step out of your comfort zone
~Find someone with similar desires (there was a guy in my group who I knew had a heart for the youth to grow closer to each other (and God) we started talking about it I did a study and put together the verses I found with questions and suggestions.
He is a really great leader and arranged a discussion with our youth leader and told him about our ideas.)
~be a leader
~Watch for opportunities to offer to pray with someone or share a Bible verse, or something that God has been teaching you.
~many people who seem confident may not actually be as confident as they seem- even if they are, it feels good to be reached out to and not feel as if they are the ones who always must be reaching out.
Once again- prayer is vital!
prayers for you!
(Oh and with God’s help I have become friends with most of the kids in my group and we have all grown (from what I can see) in our relationship with God and eachother… it’s been really cool to see God at work.)
In Christ, Susannah
Am I the only one who doesn’t go to Youth Group here?!
lol I didn’t for my first 14 1/2 years 🙂 just started last year 🙂
So, is it good, or something you wish you could forego? (Is it worth the drama?)
God has really used it to bless my life, it may not be for everyone but I have made some wonderful friends and been able to encourage and be encouraged by some wonderful people. The drama has grown me out of my comfort zone so much and pushed me to be more like Christ.
Hmm, I think I would get soooo frustrated before anything positive happened! I’m glad it’s helped you 🙂
LOL. 🙂 Yeah, it’s funny, you never know what to expect with God. That would NOT have been something I would have chosen. 😀
I know that @SusannahBaffa:disqus already answered this, but I just thought that I might add my comment. My youth group has at least 21 people in it, and most of the people all have the same goal: To live a life that pleases God.
Jumping in, I would say it’s absolutely…maybe…worth it. lol, I know. It’s just that, I love my youth group and am really going to miss it when I move on, but not all youth groups are good. Mine certainly wasn’t for a long time. So…it depends on you, I suppose! And what God is calling to. 🙂
Thanks – I’m always interested in things I’ve never experienced 🙂
That’s a good thing!! 🙂
No… I think @disqus_oMHOgFTIn3:disqus mentioned him not going to YG in one of his comments.
Good memory! Yep, I don’t!
I don’t, either. 🙂
Well, it also doesn’t help that our church doesn’t even have a youth group… I have the strangest feeling that our church is a little far from normal; @disqus_oMHOgFTIn3:disqus correct me if I’m wrong. 🙂
Wait, did the tag work? I can’t tell.
Ah, thank you. 🙂
Yep, well my church’s “YG” is probably twelve people on a busy day!
Ha! Our “YG” is a bunch of circles of youth that hang out in a group. Does that count?
By techinical definition, ours is every inch a young group, more commonly known as a “group of youth” or even a “gaggle of youth”. Or, if the service ran long, a “stamped of youth”. Or if they’re younger, they could be a “screaming meemee of youth”!
I think it’s a non-word that’s quite applicable in this situation!
Sounds good! 🙂 It reminds me of melee, which wouldn’t be entirely out of place in this situation. 😉
True also! That’s fitting. “A screaming melee of youth”… no, that’s more at VBS. Or when the pastor banned basketball (jk, didn’t actually happen!) That would be a screaming melee!
Hahaha! And then arm them with air soft guns! (Those are not soft!!)
Amen to that! The guy that named airsoft guns “soft” was probably the same guy that named “softballs” soft. What was he thinking?
Hmm…maybe it was a practical joke! “Hey, you, stand over there so I can throw this softball at your head!”
Ha, ha! That’s probably it!
Nope, no correction. Our church is certainly not normal (still trying to figure out if that’s a good thing…) 🙂
I don’t! There’s some of us!
Nope! Although I did lead a youth group for the last year – really a youth drop-in centre, and leading it as an adult. Never went to a youth group as a member though – coming in to minister to young people was entirely different, and I have been blessed because of it with near zero fear of peer pressure. In my carefully thought but humble opinion, it’s a great thing to not get, for someone from a Godly Christian home. 😀
That’s a good thought – helping with one when I’m older 🙂
And then also you have the ability, under the blessing of your parents and pastor/church authority, to be involved in shaping that group as the Lord directs – something I’m loving about starting a girls’ discipleship group, that I am free to influence young people as God calls me to, instead of trying to be the good student and fit into what the leaders are trying to achieve. (which can be a very good thing, but I find it challenging as most of the young leaders around here are a lot more secular than us)
Some of my friends go to a church that has around 80 youth, but they don’t have a youth group. 🙂
Wow, huge church! My church has 80 people, period!
Lol, same here!
They actually don’t even have a big church! Maybe 200 people! But they have several large families that go there.
Wow, sounds awesome!
Nope! Our church is basically made up of home-schoolers and we don’t have a Youth Group.
Homeschooler church! I was part of one of those at one point, and I loved it!
I know, right? They can be so fun (since just about everybody understands everybody else’s homeschooling problems) XD
My friend Lydia from church started doing school courses online so now we tease her that she’s a traitor. Haha!
Oh, you guys! I would be jealous, except that I’ve learned to be content – those churches sound amazing. 🙂 I’m – obviously, from my comments 😉 – a homeschooler, though I ‘graduated’ year before last, so I’m now one of those dastardly public university students! 😀 We go to a church where we are the only homeschoolers, only large family (I’m the 3rd of 11), and there are literally maybe five other youth (and the same amount toddlers) in a church with roughly 100 people. 🙁 So yeah, that would be incredible to go to a church with lots of young people… who care about the things that matter… who actually like children… who know all the awesome homeschooler in-jokes… okay, I’ll stop. 😉 But seriously, what a blessing! May we all use our time wisely in the particular ways that God has opened up to us, because He’s got us where we are for a purpose 😀 God bless you guys! (oh, and btw, in Australia ‘guys’ means anybody, sisters included 😉 😀 )
Oh, do you live in Australia? 😀
Yup, Aussie through and through 😀 I’m rather in a minority on here… but among Christians, nationality is irrelevant, so I’m quite at home! 🙂
Wow! I’ve always wanted an Aussie accent and some of my friends think I’m really good at affecting one. 🙂
BTW, I always use the word ‘guys’ for girls and guys as well. Actually, I normally use it for girls (since i talk to them more). XP
I don’t either. My church doesn’t really have a youth group, but we have a small group of youths, shall we say 😉
My church doesn’t have a youth group, so I can’t really help there. There probably are some serious, like-minded youth groups out there, but the truth is, you get a lot of kids together and you’re going to get a lot of childish behavior.
I understand how you feel K. I am home schooled as well and am the only home schooler there at my youth group too. I am also having difficulties with my youth group. Many of the kids in my youth group aren’t popular kids but they do tend to break rules, listen to music that I’m not allowed to listen too, and they are a part of the “wrong crowed”.
It is so hard to try to befriend people that are completely different than you or your family. Especially if your not sure if they are the kind of people you should be hanging out with. Please don’t take this as me being judge mental. It is just that it is easier to be swayed by people to do the wrong thing. That is why I think it’s important to be careful with who you choose to be close friends with. Which makes your circumstance harder I bet. 🙁
As far as them being trouble makers and being un-welcoming I am afraid that there is not a whole lot that you can do, on your own anyway. But, if you would really like to make a difference in your youth group you can try loving on them. It is difficult at first but I noticed that when I strike up clean conversations like movies (steering away from vulgar or violent ones) and show genuine interest in their positive hobbies they feel a little more loved. I truly think it makes a difference, even if the difference is minimal. One thing that I keep in my mind whenever I want to be mad at them or wish that they were different then they are is to remember that they grew up differently than I did, came from different backgrounds and cultures, have had different experiences than me, and that God loves them just as much as he loves me. Church is for trouble makers, people who are un-welcomming, and the Biblical challenged too. 🙂 God has them there for a reason and I’m sure he has you there for a reason too. Just like how he has me at my youth group for a reason.
I hope that everything goes well for you. I am so sorry that you are having a hard time. 🙁 You will be in my prayers, K.!
I don’t really have any problems with our youth group, but I will defiantly remember to pray for you!
Hi K! I understand what you’re going through. I felt like an outsider in my youth group growing up. My husband and I work in youth ministry now and you sound like just the type of young person we’d love to have in our youth group! Youth ministers love to mentor those who want to learn and grow. Why don’t you talk to your youth leader about your predicament and maybe set up a Bible study with them so you have some extra opportunities to learn and grow. As for changing your youth group, the sad news is, you can’t force spiritual growth on other people, as much as you may want to, but you can set a godly example and pray. Those sound like pat answers but when you get to the core of them, they’re not. Praying that things go well for you!
Wow, so much opened up by this post! Firstly, I’m 19, from a conservative evangelical family, and we were pretty set against youth group all my growing up (from Mum and Dad’s experiences leading and going to youth groups when they were younger). However, I have been quite involved with Christian and ‘Christian’ (nominal) young people outside of a formal group, and have also been leading a youth group for the last year. Mostly a non-Christian group (which is the only way I can set myself at peace to be involved, considering their behaviour), there is no way I’d recommend a Christian kid go there, unless over 18 – to be free enough from peer pressure – to be a witness. On the other hand, I have friends in really great youth groups, where at least some of the kids are passionate about God. I’m guessing year 8 would be around 14-15, so you’ve got a tough situation from the outset at being seen very much ‘young’, and, as the homeschooler, an outsider – praying for you there!
In regard to practical things – yes, I know the feeling! Being involved with young people who call themselves Christians, or even are just known as being ‘Christian’ who are not passionate about God, and sometimes strongly leaning towards the things God hates, is very challenging at best – horrifying and heart wrenching at other times. So one of the first things I’d recommend would be writing down, or having a good chat with a parent or yourself about why you’re there. What you see your purpose as being, what you should do, and what you feel capable of. Are you there to be encouraged? If so, how can that be accomplished – maybe talking to the leaders, trying likely others in the group one-on-one about whether they are interested in having a Bible study, or asking the leaders if they can do this. Are you there to challenge people? If you are an outgoing person, depending on where God has you at the moment, this could be a battle you can relish the thought of, ready to take on Satan’s hold in people’s lives with the power of what God is doing in your heart. Or, it could be a terrifying prospect – if you’re not sure how you feel about it, praying, writing down your feelings and talking to your parents about whether this is something you could attempt would likely be helpful. It could be that it is not the purpose right now, but something you can tackle in the future. If you are a quieter person, maybe a more one on one/small group discussions would be helpful to share God’s truth in your heart and give you the particular encouragement of sharing. Are there people there that God particularly is pointing out for you to encourage or challenge – being popular or unwelcoming is very often a façade for someone who is insecure, maybe needing a deep friend, or just that word of Godly truth to wake their conscience. Or, the jealousy that God planned for the Jews – seeing the truth of God in your life to make them hungry for something deeper.
So in conclusion to my accidental essay! I hope there is something useful in there. 🙂 A couple of last remarks would be Ephesians 4 and Colossians 3 – take courage! Get ready to fight for what God says is true, and make a conscious effort to prepare your mind not to be discouraged by what may come. Commit your time there to God – that He will give you the encouragement of Himself if you are to be a light there; and that, if there are opportunities to be encouraged by people, that He will show you how to take hold of that blessing. Don’t let Satan undermine your way of speaking, your behaviour or your thoughts through hanging out with these kids – I’m aware of how easy it is to pick up what is happening around us all, and I know I have to be so vigilant! May God bless you, strengthen you with wisdom and peace, and work His mighty power through your everyday life as you give it to Him. 🙂
Thank you for sharing this, Carrie; it was a very powerful accidental essay. 🙂 Are you new to the Reb?
Hey Christy! Thanks, I often tend to go all out when I’m passionate about something, but it’s not always as concise or powerful as what I would actually like to convey – glad you found it worthwhile. 😀
Sort of, sort of not – my sister joined the Rebelution forum maybe 4 years ago? Hm, maybe even 6. I sent in an application after reading Do Hard Things (as you do 😉 ) about two years ago, but didn’t hear back, so have been on the Reb blog, and also signed up for emails and then did DHTU too, though yet to listen to all the recordings I missed! In conclusion, I’ve been getting info and reading stuff for a few years now, but this is one of my very first comments as I’m extremely busy, and have been for some years. 🙂 (actually in lunch break on a college computer right now!) Lord willing I’ll get to keep up to date somewhat, be encouraged, and input stuff as I can find time this year. 😀
Of course! I love to read something when I can really see that the author was passionate about the subject–it shows! 🙂
Wow, okay! What do you mean by “sent in an application”? That’s cool that you’ve been around; I hope you’ll have more opportunities to comment in the future, I’d love to hear from you! =)
Thanks 😀 I’m glad then that God has given me a great passion for the areas I talk a lot about. 😉 Well, I filled in the entire application and sent it in, as in this http://therebelution.com/forum/profile.php?mode=register – but don’t know if it got lost along the way or something. 😀 (have just submitted another, so will see how it goes!)
Hope to be on here more regularly too, I’m doing better with study and life in general, so Lord willing I will be 😀 God bless!
Ok! I’m just wondering, how did you go about submitting it? Because the link you have there is somewhat strange; it looks like an old version of the Reb for some reason. 😮
That’s great! I’m looking forward to seeing you around more! =) God bless you as well!
Oops, looks like I never replied! Got out of class nice and early, sold my baby goat, and am trying to organise my life. 😉 So going through all my accounts on forums and stuff – I have had terrible problems with my memory and it’s almost like I’ve died and the current me is someone else coming on the scene trying to figure out how to get into all my stuff! So I’m organising everything as though I wasn’t going to be here at all, and then I’ll be able to instruct myself on how to get into everything. 😀 Sorry, long-winded explanation!
I found the email that I got back the first time, but nothing from the second time. 🙂
Thank you for applying to become a member of the Rebelution Forum. We have received your application and will alert you to our decision as soon as possible. Due to the number of applications we receive each week, please allow 2-3 weeks for the review process.
Because of the unique purpose of the Rebelution Forum, not all applications can be accepted. But being a rebelutionary is not about an online forum, but about doing hard things in real life for the glory of God. May that always be our goal, on the Forum or off.
May God bless you!
The Forum Team”
I’m too busy at the moment to get on another forum, so probably a good thing! 😀
How are you going?
Oh, hi!! 😀 I totally understand. Life just goes crazy sometimes! Thanks for coming back, though, it’s good to see you!
I’m pretty sure that email is for an older version of the Reb… As long as you have a Disqus account, you can participate. 🙂
I’ve been all right. My life has actually been turned upside down in the last few months, but I’m getting through it! I’m wrapping up my senior year, and getting ready to take a trip to Hong Kong! I also submitted an article to the Reb, so hopefully that gets published! 🙂
And…baby goat? Lol, do explain!
You too! Its so cool how there is such a community on here, and I’ve really enjoyed seeing how many people I recognise and getting to know everyone through their comments. 😀
Oh, thanks! Is there a current forum?
Wow, sounds full on alright! You are from the USA I’m guessing? How long will you be over there?
That’s awesome! Will look forward to seeing it 😀
Hehe, sorry I didn’t think to explain! I breed a heap of animals, including pure bred dairy goats, and on that particular day I brought one of the baby goats to my uni/college to meet her buyer. She was a big hit with my classmates too 😀
I am actually right now trying to rest on my little stretcher bed in the goats’ kidding pen, two of the does are getting ready to have babies, one has been in labour all night and got pretty sick after eating something she shouldn’t have, so it’s been a very long night! But I need to get up and do the milking before she actually gives birth, so better go!
There is a really great community! The people here have helped me get through some tough times; it’s been a blessing!
Not really, we just chat in the comment section (like we’re doing now, lol). You can submit a Discussion Question if there’s something on which you’d like to get other’s opinions.
Yes, I am! Where are you from? We’ll be there for a little over three weeks. It’ll be the longest I’ve ever been away from home! (And my dad, and my cats!).
Thanks! I just found out today it’s getting published!! *does happy dance*
Aww, that’s awesome! I don’t think I could do that, I get too attached to animals!
Wait, never mind; I just remembered that you said you sent it in two years ago, so of course the link looks old! 😛 My bad! 🙂
YES! I have been involved in different youth groups, and although this DOES seem to be a problem in almost all of them, I would say that some are definitely better than others. With this in mind, I would agree with what someone else has already mentioned – talk to your youth pastor/leader… but if you find that this doesn’t make a difference then I would consider, if your actions don’t help to make a change, looking at a different youth group. Of course, it’s important that you pray about it and seek advice from your parents, but the whole point of youth group is to bring young believers together and for them to have a heap of fun, not doing the wrong thing but encouraging each other to do the RIGHT thing.
I have had discussions with my youth pastor in the past about these types of problems, and he was very supportive. He knew that changes had to be made, but he also expected ME to be a part of that. Of course, that seemed really daunting, as it might to you, but I think that as you become part of the solution, many other likeminded people who also were too afraid to speak out may join you. That’s one of the (really difficult) kind of amazing things about being a rebelutionary.
And even if you’re not joined, in person – you have an online community behind you all the way, many offers of prayer and people who understand what you’re feeling. This isn’t a substitute for a real god-edifying friendship, but it can certainly help you survive until God brings a Godly friend or mentor along for you.
Our youth group has some issues, but from what I’ve heard about many other youth groups, I’m blessed with many good guys and gals in ours. I know it’s tough for you, K.! I’m not what you would consider a “popular” kid either, but I found out that “unpopular” kids just have to work a little harder and be a little friendlier to make friends. I don’t have an outgoing personality, so obviously, I have to purposely be talkative and friendly. If that makes any sense. 🙂 Here’s, my take home advice: Pray, let your life be a testimony, and PRAY! Did I mention “Pray”? Find your identity in Christ, not your youth group.
Hey Kate, sounds like a bit of a mess! I have a really small youth group too, and we’re really tight-knit, but we’re close together because we’re all trying to pursue God. I would suggest talking to your youth group leader about it, maybe even seeing if there’s some really good studies to do that might get them interested. If that doesn’t work, try even talking to the kids in your group. Something along the lines of, “I’ve noticed that as a youth group we aren’t really following what God’s word says that we should do as young men and women of Christ and as a group that’s supposed to be dedicated to growing closer to Jesus. I think we should try paying attention to what we’re learning so we can do the things we’re called to do.” And most of all, just try to be a good example. Titus 2:7 says, “And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.”
Awesome comment! By the way, I love your username. 😉
No problem! 🙂
Very well said 🙂
Hey, so I can totally identify with various issues and such in youth group. I know for me, the kids in the junior youth group (gr. 6-8) are really crazy and sometimes hard for me as a high school student to lead. They can be extremely rambunctious and its hard to get them to focus. After a LOT of research, and talking to various experts in youth ministry, I came to find a three things that will really help our group, and should work just about anywhere else.
1. Are you just there to be entertained?
Meaning, are the leaders focused on sharing with you and your peers the story of Jesus Christ, His Life, Death, and Resurrection (the Kerygma), or are they only focused on entertaining you? Has the purpose of your youth group become “Let’s just entertain these kids with skits, games etc.” or is it what Youth should be eg. “Let’s help our youth have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ where they are invited and intrigued to go deeper in faith.” If the leadership seems to have an entertainment mentality
Thank you for this. It put some clarity on thoughts I have been pondering for some time now 🙂
My Church thankfully does not have a youth group, because they’ve recognized the problems with many youth groups. When I went to a different church with a youth group, I, after seeing what it was like asked my parents if I could go with the adults. I am happy with the church I am at now, but understand how you feel.
I’m glad you’re happy with the church you’re at now, but just know that there are a few good, Christ-focused youth groups out there. 🙂
That is true. It may not be the church or actual group, but the people that make a group the way it is.
Well said! 🙂 And following that logic, you can inspire change in a youth group that you are part of (even though it might not be easy).
Very true 🙂
What was the problem with your youth group if you don’t mind me asking? In other words was it because the youth pastor was teaching corrupt teachings or was it because the teens were cliquey? Annoying? Shallow?
The problem was that the youth went to the group to socialize, and not grow and encourage each other in Christ. They were very shallow, and are the type that go to church because their parents do.
Oh. I am very sorry to hear that. And that is tough! Some teens in my youth group are like that too.
Can I challenge you by saying that perhaps God has faced you with this so that you may be His light to the darkness of that youth group?
I no longer go to that Church, yet I do believe I might have been able to be a light there. At the same time I wonder if the youth group would have badly influenced me, since I at the time had just become a teenager and wasn’t as matured as I am now. But God has a plan and purpose, and can use anybody to bring people to Him.
Definately. I am so glad that you found a church that is helping you in your daily walk with Him. 🙂
Sometimes a church will have a group like AWANA besides youth group. As horrible as it may sound, it sorts out a lot of the shallow, annoying people. AWANA takes work, so there is a deterrence for people to come if all they’re looking for is a good time. I have made a lot of good friends who are dedicated to learning more about God through AWANA. This is why I haven’t gone to youth group.
I did Youth Group in 6th grade when we lived in CA. Once we moved to NY, my parents didn’t want any of my siblings or myself in youth groups. Sadly, in many cases youth group is just the shot in the arm of a bible story (or talking about how to handle peer pressure) before going and balancing marshmallows on you noses and playing dodgeball. We watched an excellent film called “Divided” that talked a lot about intergenerational ministry. I’ll post the link at the end of my comment, but I love that film and I think it explains many problems with youth groups in a very effective way:) You can watch Divided for free here: http://dividedthemovie.com/
Hello Kate I’m studying to be in youth ministry, and I even found that youth groups can be focused on only programs. I’m sorry that you went through this but there are some youth groups out there that are Christ-Centered. What you really should look for is:
1. Does the youth ministry emphasize more on numbers or on making Disciples? There’s nothing wrong with numbers, but are those numbers on making Disciples? Where I’m at right now in my internship we are discipling some middle school teens to be more Christ like at there school and sometimes lead youth group on Wednesday. As a matter of fact they are leading youth group tonight under my supervision.
2. Are they teaching the Bible? One of the problems with some youth groups is that they teach, not intentionally, “moralistic therapeutic deism.” In simply words it teaches that “god” exist, wants us to be happy, wants us to be fair, and only comes when you need help. Watch out for that.
3. Watch out for programs without a vision. Does your youth group know where they are going? Do they set goals? Those are questions that you may want to ask to your youth pastor.
4. Listen to James Pereira. After typing my three comments, I went down and scrolled through the comments page and found his comment. He has some really well written advice’s that you should really consider with your youth group.
I hope this helps.
I have to ask: have you read “Christless Christianity” by Michael Horton? That phrase “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism” was one phrase he hammered in that book, so I’m curious if I have run across another MIchael Horton reader!
268 comments?!? Wow, okay :). Umm, i haven’t read other comments so, this has probably already been said.
Hey K.! I’m really sorry you feel this way in your youth group. I’ll be praying your situation becomes better! I know how tight small youth groups can be, but i’m sorry i can’t relate much about being the only home-schooler, (at one point, my entire youth group was home-schooled). I would encourage you to either resolve to try your best to make things better in your youth group, or simply walk away. A youth group’s purpose is to have a group of teens together learning about and glorifying God. If that’s not happening, it might just be a waste of time :/
Pray about it, and maybe talk to your youth leader or pastor. Don’t lose hope. God’s got your group of kids together for a reason.
Hope this helps a bit!
Yeah, this DQ really took off! And most of the comments are on-topic!! Lol 🙂 But there have been some really good things said. A lot of new people, too!
Another thing I just thought about! My family watches a church in South Carolina that I had the privilege of attending one of the campus’ this last summer and their youth groups major event of the summer The Gauntlet! It was AMAZING and I love their student ministry Fuse! They stream all of their services online and have LOADS of old ones! Here is the link:
I don’t usually get to watch Fuse, but when I do I always love what I hear!
I wanted to jump into this conversation because it is an issue close to my
heart. I am quite a bit older than everyone else, almost 22, and began
following the Rebelution when I was your age. Though I rarely comment, I keep
up with it because I enjoy watching the Rebelution be taken over by a new
generation younger than me. I’d like to first share my personal experience with
youth group and then offer you some advice. I recognize my advice may be outdated by now, so take it with a grain of salt and discuss it with your family (assuming they are believers).
My youth group encompassed 8th-12th grade altogether. It was small, like yours, and most of the kids were more interested in flirting or looking smart rather than knowing God better. That was very discouraging for me. The youth leader who ran it did so because he was the only person in the church available at the time. So, 8th-10th grade my youth group experience was less than wonderful. By 11th grade the church hired a youth pastor, very gifted and burdened for youth. His teaching was excellent and the games were more interesting. The kids were still the same kids, however. By 12th grade several of them had graduated and my best friend started coming with me (a girl from my homeschool sports group) and that made it much more bearable. All my good youth group memories are from my last year in highschool – that’s one year of positive influence on my life and five years of negative.
I was the pastor’s daughter, therefore I was required to attend youth group. My
parents recognized our youth group had issues, so they gave me the option of
sitting in the adult service instead. That was far worse! Staying in youth
group at least made me appear supportive of the ministry, even if no one
actually liked me or invited me in (it was a very cliquey youth group). Going to the adult service only alienated me more. So, my parents told me to go into youth group as an example and faithful witness, and said I should focus on reaching out to the other kids who also didn’t quite fit in. By mid-highschool, the rejection and alienation I weekly endured broke me terribly. I came home every week in tears because I had no friends, no influence for good, couldn’t stand the attitudes of other students, had to go no matter what, and was worn out from always trying to be the perfect example. [And, I will add, this wasn’t due to peer pressure. I wanted to fit in, but never at the cost of something that was against my best judgement.] So while I understand some of the comments suggesting you go into youth group with the mindset of being an example, I’d like to kindly point out that this idea is flawed… let me explain.
The youth leaders can be wonderful teachers (like mine 11th-12th grades). They can carefully plan and mentor. You can pray and be the odd-one-out, with the mindset of setting an example. But ultimately, the ONLY thing that is going to change your youth group is if God gets a hold of the hearts of the other kids and transforms them. Your example and friendship can’t change them. Wonderful youth leaders can’t change them. The perfect message or game can’t change them. Only the Holy Spirit’s work on their hearts can!
I’d offer this advice as a solution for you. Please discuss it with your parents:
First, recognize youth group is not a gathering of young students on-fire for the Lord, ready to serve and learn. Instead, youth group is a gathering of young students who are just beginning their journeys of faith or aren’t even on the Narrow Road yet. Therefore, it is bound to be full of well-intentioned but immature people. Have a proper mindset toward your peers and don’t expect from them what clearly is not in their hearts yet. As they grow, then you will have opportunities to create the type of youth group you desire.
Second, after you get the proper view of your peers, have the proper view of
your youth leaders. If they are trying to merely entertain, respectfully ask
them why and open a discussion about taking you deeper into the Word and heart
of God. But again, recognize even their perfect leadership can’t change hearts.
If they are already leading your youth group with passion and purpose, thank
God for them and be sure to tell them thank you personally!
Third, once you’ve got a proper view of others, take a look at yourself. Know
your limits. Determine what you will and won’t do in order to be friendly (i.e.
you won’t go on the roof with the rest of the kids, but you will offer to partner up with someone new for a game, etc.). Recognize you can’t change anyone, but you can be used how God wants and can be faithful to Him in difficult situations you encounter. Begin praying for His strength to make wise decisions in and about your youth group.
Fourth, after you’ve got this down, evaluate your experience in youth group. I’d
recommend sticking out your time there for the first year. If it’s more
detrimental to your spiritual growth than helpful, quit going. I know that is hard for traditional evangelicals to swallow, but it’s no different than if you stop eating dairy because you develop an allergy. If something is bad for you, you stop doing it. That includes attending youth group. Remember, this decision can always be revoked. If you go in 8th grade, stop going for a semester. In 9th if you begin to see changes in the other students and leaders, be willing to give it a second, third, or fourth chance.
Fifth, be honest if someone asks you what your opinion of youth group is or why you have stopped coming. You don’t have to bash anyone in order to be honest. For example, if you choose to stop attending and another student notices, you can simply say: “While I appreciate the opportunity to go to youth group, I have been disappointed that everyone seems more interested in goofing off than in Jesus. That doesn’t really help me grow spiritually, so I’ve chosen to use Wednesday nights in a better way.” Or if a youth leader asks whether or not you’re enjoying youth group, say something like “You know, I appreciate the teaching here, but I’m actually really disappointed the other students aren’t engaged in Scripture. I’d have a lot more fun if they were as serious about the learning portion of youth group as they are with game time.” A simple statement of truth can be one of the most heart-changing tools God uses.
Ok, I know this response is sounding like a lecture, but I’d like to add some
things you definitely shouldn’t do:
* Don’t go to the youth leaders with a list of complaints and tell them off about how awful youth group is.
* Don’t lie; be honest about what you think and feel if anyone asks.
* Don’t let your heart harden toward the other students or leaders.
* Don’t let anyone take advantage of you because you are mature where others do not (This happened to me when I was pressured into leading youth worship just because I was reliable enough to handle it).
* Don’t begin attending a different youth group. This will only serve to discourage and divide the leadership. It’s one thing to choose not to participate; it’s another to choose a new church because of one failed ministry.
I hope my story and advice has been helpful. My goal was to show you that
trying to change your youth group from the outside is not going to work. You
are responsible for yourself and your own growth. Have a proper view of others
and work your way out from there. Don’t be afraid to stop going if it is what’s
best for your relationship with Christ. Be honest with everyone involved, but
in a kind way. I wish you the best of luck solving these issues! I understand perfectly the frustration and disappointment. I’ll say a prayer for you, for wisdom!
Hi Lindsay, thank you so much for sharing your story! I’m afraid I was one of those people who mentioned leading by example. I totally agree that it’s all in God’s hands; He’s the One that makes the change. But I don’t think that should disregard attempts on our part to be an example to others. We need to be willing to be used by Him, while at the same time realizing it’s He who does the work, not us. And I feel like that helps take a lot of pressure off of us! 🙂
So, yeah…I just wanted to clarify that. 🙂 But again, thank you for sharing! So much of your story sounded like you were telling mine, and it cut me pretty deep–in a good, feeling-connected type of way. 😉 God bless!
I really appreciate all your advice, Lindsay. There’s a ton of good stuff in there! You’re right, only God can change people’s hearts. I do have a question though: Could you elaborate on why it’s not okay to start attending another youth group? It’s not like you leave your present church, you just attend a different youth group. I understand that it could be somewhat divisive…but if you’re not attending YG anyway, why not try and find a new group (or possibly join a friend’s group) where the atmosphere is more God-focused and the fellowship is deeper?
Hey Riley! Great question! I’d be happy to explain my thoughts on that. It kind of starts out with having a balanced view of the Church. Church is a place we go to give, not to get. When everyone is using their gifts to serve, love, and grow in Christ, our giving suddenly becomes getting as others nurture us and we nurture them. The problem in many churches is people go to get, not to give, and the result is no one actually gets anything! Everyone takes, no one gains. That was a problem I ran into at youth group. Everyone was out to “get” something – popularity, mostly. When I focused, as my parents suggested, on faithfully giving, I quickly burnt out because I was the only one. And when you give and give without gain, that is not sustainable. It became more detrimental for me to attend youth group than to not attend. If I had thrown in the towel and gone to another youth group, the message I would have sent is that I’m only out to get something, not to give something, so I will go where I want and where it suits me best. As I said above, there’s a difference between not participating because something is hurting you and completely forsaking a ministry because it hurts you. That was the “rock and the hard place” I was in… It was my dad’s employment. I was a member, which meant I was committed to something.
Imagine this. Your mom makes a really nasty meal. The food is so bad, you can’t eat it without puking. However, the rest of your family can eat it without problems. You’ve tried to kindly express to your mom that she needs to change the recipe, but she is blind to it. Yet, that is your family! You love them! You are committed to them. You wouldn’t say “Forget this, I’m eating at the neighbor’s house!” Your mom would be crushed. What you could do is say, “Mom, I’ve tried to explain to you that this food is hurting me, but you don’t understand. From now on, it will be better for me to eat a bowl of cereal instead of the meal.” You are still staying with the family God gave you. You aren’t leaving them or calling them worthless. You are recognizing that the best thing for you to do is break from the activity causing you pain, while not separating yourself from the family you belong with. Because that’s what a church is supposed to be, a family.
Remember Paul’s letters to the Corinthians? They had all kinds of problems going on… but Paul didn’t tell them to break the church or find a new fellowship. He told them not to be a stumbling block and to reform. That’s why I think there should be a youth group alternative in today’s churches and why teens shouldn’t be forced to go.
I know I am still young, and I haven’t fully determined the best course of action I will take someday with my own children, but this is where I am right now and what I have reasoned out to be the best. I’m sure the older (read: wiser) I become this view will mature. Everyone is different, and I can’t change the world – only God can – but I have to steward my own relationships and commitments as best as I can. It’s murky water and muddy territory, but we all have to work through it. This is what I’ve concluded would be best. Perhaps you have different thoughts? That’s okay. But hopefully, you better understand where I’m coming from.
Hey Lindsay, I really appreciate your replying! It (seriously) has given me a lot to think about :). So again, thanks for your response, and I will continue to pray and seek God’s wisdom for my particular situation.
I liked your comment Lindsey! I agree with most of what you said except I agree with what Christy said about being willing to do our part with being an example while keeping in mind that God is the only one who can truly help them. I like to think of God as the doctor and his followers as nurses. Sure, nurses help with little things and the doctor loves to give responsibility to his nurses but the doctor is truly the one who cures the patient. Also, my situation is pretty close to yours. My dad is the senior pastor and I don’t enjoy going to youth group for reasons that are similar to yours. I am not completely isolated since I do have a few friends there. However, with these friends I still feel separated because since I’m on the worship team I have to practice while everyone else at the youth group is playing games and my other friend is on the worship team with me but acts more like a “frenemy” than a friend. But in one case you are lucky that the youth pastor wanted to include you and have you lead worship. I am on the worship team but many seam to think I’m unimportant. I am ignored most of the time. Since I have to go to youth group (since the pastor) do you have any tips on how to survive it? I have talked to my family about it and have done some praying so I know that I need to go but what can I do to make it easier for me to go?
I’ll be praying for you, Olivia!
Thank you! I appreciate your prayers.
Hi Olivia! I really appreciate your honesty on here… I know it’s not easy to be a pastor’s kid and serve in a difficult situation. I haven’t been online regularly or else I would’ve replied more quickly. So, let me try to speak to several of your comments at a time and see if I can help! I’m a long writer (obviously…) so I’ll try to be succinct for you.
What first struck me about your story is that you have a “frenemy”. A real friend should be a constant friend, and not sometimes feel against you. I don’t know details, but if you could have an honest talk with him/her and express that you feel ignored/insignificant and could really use his/her support right now, perhaps your “frenemy” might gain a new perspective and be able to help you enjoy the practice time.
As far as the other members of your worship team go, I’d suggest speaking to the team leader. Some churches develop a vision statement for every ministry. You could say to the team leader, “Hey, I really want this ministry to our youth group to be great! Could we sit down as a worship team and come up with a vision for our ministry?” If everyone is working toward a common goal, every position will be seen as important. If everyone is working for separate goals (to be the best guitarist, to impress someone else, to get a pat on the back from their parents, etc) there won’t be unity and others will get ignored.
For a general strategy in youth group as a whole, there were two things that helped me (since not going was a non-option). First, I did take my parents advice and reached out to other students who weren’t part of the “in” crowd. This was really hard because they were even more introverted than myself and shy. I literally labored over coming up with things to talk with them about. While I was in youth group, I saw no fruit from this work. Many of them dropped off or graduated after me and I’ve rarely seen them since. However, I’ve had conversations with their parents or grandparents who have told me how much it meant to them that I took time to hang out with their kid/grandkid. One grandma in my church says that I was the only person her granddaughter ever liked and wanted to be around. So while I greatly struggled to reach out and felt burnt out every week, later down the road God used that in a small way. Second, my junior year of highschool I asked my youth pastor for permission to lead a special Bible study for the Jr. high students in particular about unity. I had noticed that my experiences of cliquey-ness was just being recycled with the incoming students. My youth pastor graciously agreed. So for one month while the highschoolers had a normal youth lesson, I gave a Bible study to the Jr. highers about unity within the church. When I came home for a visit my sophomore year of college, the youth pastor thanked me and said that Bible study changed our youth group dramatically. This isn’t a fail-safe strategy, but there might be a way you could do something similar.
I guess on the whole the best policy is honesty, though spoken with love and with a strategic goal of creating a better atmosphere for everyone. I hope some of these stories I’ve shared you can use in some way. I’ll say a prayer for you too! 🙂
Thank you for replying to me, Lindsey. Your comment actually encouraged me a lot. 🙂 Right now I am actually doing a Bible study with a few girls that attend church on Sunday mornings. I have noticed a stronger relationship between the girls that wanted to participate in it. I’m not close enough to those girls yet to call them true friends but we’re getting there, I think.
I like your suggestion of reaching out to the kids there even though it is difficult. That is what I want to do even though I’ll probably feel burnt out like you from the effort of coming up with things to talk about. I am pretty introverted as well. There is one girl there that doesn’t totally fit in with the other people there and as I was reading your comment she crossed my mind. She probably needs a friend. I’m not sure why I’ve never thought about hanging out with her. I guess I was more focused on myself and finding people that I would like to hang out with instead of thinking about people who need someone to spend time with them. Thank you for the new perspective.
I also like your idea of talking to my frenemy. I have thought about it a few times but I’m not really sure how I will talk to her. I have a hard time really telling her what I don’t appreciate because she covers up the unkind things that she does with fake kindness. What if she asks me, “I said that I was only joking.” or asks me exactly what she is doing wrong? I can’t really stop being friends with her because if I’m not then who will be? She doesn’t have many friends and I have been trying to guide her on how to be kind to others and trying to teach her people skills. I have been seeing progress but the progress gets stamped out when someone inflates her ego. Pride is what mostly is hurting our friendship and how she treats those around her. Maybe I should kindly point out how she may be treating others when I talk to her? She doesn’t enjoy people giving her advice. I hope she’ll hear what I have to say.
I really do appreciate your suggestion on creating a mission statement for the youth band. I think that part of our problem may be that we don’t have a clear direction on what we are working towards. That will probably help us out a lot. I think that many of us don’t truly know God yet either which can be hard since we are a worship team. Worshiping God and pointing others to God is something that our team leader and vocal leaders don’t always have in mind. If we create a mission statement we could maybe talk about practical ways to put that statement into action during each meeting before we practice.
Thank you for being so willing to give your advice to me. 🙂 You have no idea how encouraging it is to hear from someone who has been in a similar situation. And thank you for your prayers!
Wow, Lindsey, I can only imagine your situation… I’m thankful my parents never made me go to Youth Group – I would have been in the same boat.
You’ve made me realize how great my parents are! Thank you so much!
Parents are great people! 🙂 I understood the position my parents were in as leaders within the church. I do think that they could have done some things different, but I don’t hold it against them. They were doing what they considered best. I’ll definitely have a different perspective with my own kids though! I would encourage you to take that gratefulness and express it to your parents! I’m sure they would appreciate it!
My parents are great too; I have never been to youth group. =)
Hi, we don’t have a very good youth group in our church. So when I graduated from our 1-6 grade program I went with the adults to prayer meeting. Our youth group from things I had heard was a bunch of games and occasionally a short Bible lesson. Since then ou church has swithced to small groups on Wed. nights and I have quit going because there is not one that I would technically fit in. Now the youth group has started one, but I am wondering if I should go because when I originally did no go to youth group there was a big uproar. What should I do?
Hi David, welcome! I went to adult small group and Sunday school at my church and really enjoyed it, however, my group was happy to have a teen and nobody was really upset that I didn’t go to youth. I guess if you believe you can contribute to youth group, (maybe mentor a younger teen, exemplify commitment to Christ etc) and still grow spiritually, it might be great for you. If you need to grow or need a mentor yourself, trying the adult group might be best. Was that what you were looking for?
Thanks for the help, I would love to go to either one more preferably the adult one, but our church is very much just you have to with your age group. I would also like to the youth group now, but when I made the decision to go to prayer meeting instead it caused a big uproar and I feel if I go back it would look like I was going back on my principles. I also have not had anyone say to me would you like to join us in our small group. I have even tried to help with the 1-6 grade program, but they said no. So I am figuratively stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Hello David 🙂 I have been a teen myself and experienced that kind of dilemma too. What I can say about it is, first: learn to love growth. It’s totally fine if you go with the adult prayer group. I would actually recommend it. As a teen, it is a great experience to be acquainted and surrounded by adults. You’ll get a lot of wisdom from them, from their perspectives on life, and you get to know more about the realities of life. If you set your mind on growth, there is no place you won’t grow. Your roots will always find a way. Second, if you feel like you don’t fit in your youth group, pray. Pray steadfastly. Remember that the eyes of the Lord searches the earth to look for those whose hearts He may strengthen. My mentor once said that if you are the one who sees the problem in a setting, then that it is your calling/mission for that certain season of your life. God might be calling you to intercede for the youth of your church or your community. You might be the next youth leader, who knows? *wink* I am saying this based on my own experience and I could attest that God is faithful and full of surprises. I never knew I wanted to lead a youth group but God brought me there. Today, God is opening up new opportunities and territories for our youth group. Stay tuned to God. Seek Him. You may read Psalm 27. Lastly, choosing to do hard things will really bring you out of your comfort zone. Take the dilemma as a learning experience to discover what God has in store for you; He sure has plans for you right now. Take courage and be faithful. Have a great day! 🙂
Thank you very much! I was in the adult prayer meeting for a while, but then our church moved to small groups. I will definitely take your ideas tp heart.
That is a tough one… I’ll be praying for you:)
Hi David! I’ve never been to youth group, and honestly I haven’t missed it. I’ve built up a group of Christian friends through extracurriculars and co-ops (I’m a homeschooler) so you could try that if you decide not to go to YG.
Some people do well in Youth Group, some don’t… I’m one of those that doesn’t, that’s all. I’ve been happy in my church’s adult groups 🙂
I have no idea if this helps, but I’ll throw it out 🙂
No one has the right to tell you whether or not you should or should not leave your church or youth group. That is a decision to be made by God, not some strangers here on the internet. Just saying. It’s not wise to take council from people you don’t know for sure have a right relationship with God. Especially when making big decisions like that.
Yes, I agree! The final word should not be from someone you don’t know over the Internet. Although it is good to discuss these things and be on the look out for possible answers here! There are a lot of good people on here that we can learn and get ideas from.
I understand what you’re saying, and to some extent agree; but there’s no need to be negative. Do we actually know each other? No. So you’re right, there’s no traditional way to tell what another Rebelutionary’s relationship with God is like. But how do we look at the spiritual life of people we do know? We do so by looking at their actions and their words. On here, we can do a similar thing. When a person is walking with God, you can see evidence of it by the things they say, especially when giving advice on matters such as these.
That being said, yeah–we have to take all this advice with a grain of salt. The idea isn’t to come here, ask a question, and take some random person’s word as gospel. We accept the advice and see if it shows us possibilities we might not have thought of before. And, of course, we measure everything against Scripture.
Lastly, a lot of people have poured out their hearts on this DQ, myself included. Many of us shared personal, painful stories, not to tell K that she has to make one choice or another, but in the hope that she can learn from our experiences. So while I respect your opinion (and, like I said, agree with it somewhat) and appreciate your sharing your thoughts, I do wish you had done so in a kinder manner.
I too used to go to the youth group at my church which met during the actual church service. I was the only homeschooler and it felt like we weren’t actually learning anything because most of the kids just weren’t interested. Unfortunately, it never really got resolved because we moved on to a another church. 🙁
I have read Scarlet Pimpernel’s comment before having this one (so you might read hers first):
You can ask God to show you a person you can journey with in your relationship with God. If it seems to be taking long before you have one, of course you should not just be simply waiting. Above all, you yourself must be seeking God and have a growing relationship with Him. “Glory attracts glory.” If you get to be immersed in God’s glory, people who are searching for it will be attracted to you. Be intentional on your growth as a teen. Find ways on how you could expand your horizons by asking questions, by conversing with wise people, by reading good books, by being with people who are in fire for God. Choose the environment where you know you are growing; and it could mean the internal environment you are cultivating within your heart. Along the way, God will surely bring people who will journey with you, mentor you, and eventually propel you into your calling. Stay faithful and keep on seeking God. When I was a teen, my heartcry was Psalm 27:4. I did not fully understand it but I pursued it. I was never the same again. Lastly, you are obviously in a difficult situation so why not take it as a platform in doing hard things? Take it as a way to discover the unknown, to try what everyone else has been afraid to try, to pray and deepen your intimacy with God, to meditate God’s Word for you and your youth group. There’s just too many opportunities lying in front of you right now if you look at your situation from atop a mountain 😉 God bless your adventure, dear one 😉
I have been a part of a large church for about two years, and a small church for 10 years before that.
At the small church, I had a great opportunity to strengthen the other Youth. There were about 10 from 6-12th grade.
I loved it! It was the highlight of my week!
And then my parents tell me: we’re leaving.
To say I was ticked was an understatement! But shortly after, I realized that I had just as many opportunities in the new church as the old one: infact, many more!
One of the things I learned from that is this; God can use you, wherever you’re at, if you’re willing to go all out for Him. 🙂
Good point. 🙂 I like your new profile pic!
Yeah, it’s cool!
Non Muslims live in almost
every Muslim country on the globe. To mention a few, Turkey, Pakistan,
Indonesia, Bangladesh, Dubai, all Middle-eastern countries. They are free to
worship. There are Churches, Synagogues, and temples. Liberties are as prevalent
as in Europe and America. Sometimes crimes and violence happens, but that
Muslim governments have a policy of equality under law just like their
counterparts in Europe and America. Islam strictly forbids violence. These are
the followers of religions or faiths, who cause violence or use the name of
their respective faith, not the Faiths themselves or the Governments of Islamic
countries. Example is clear, these days, Europe and America tend to have a
clear anti-Islamic bias and even some preachers and pundits involve in the same
and crimes against Muslims and those, who look like Muslims have been
committed. However, the governments and mainstream religious forces distance
themselves from these occurrences as illegal and immoral. Same is the case with
Islam. IN every Muslim country, non Muslims generally live comfortably.
There is a barrage of non-Muslims working in oil producing rich countries. Had
the official religion been biased and not permit non Muslims, how millions of non
Muslims could work in these countries in such numbers and positions from low
level workers to high officials.
Even Muslim countries have Cabinet level officials from their non Muslim
citizenry. So there appears no legal or religious restriction.
Hi azman husin,
Thanks for chiming in! Though I am a little surprised you would pick this comment of mine to reply to seeing I wasn’t talking about Islam there. Care to explain?
In answer to you statements, respectfully, I have to disagree with you there. A different belief is not a valid reason to treat non-Musilms with abuse. If talking about their faith and peacefully talking about the reality of the Qur’an is regarded as a valid reason to physically abuse people, then I cannot accept that. I’m sorry, bro, but that just seems wrong to me.
You know what I mean?
I have one more tip for you K! Since the majority of kids in youth groups (that I know of anyways) are kids who are just beginning their relationship with the Lord or have yet to start their relationship with the Lord you might want to try other programs. You could search for Christian leadership programs for teens, Bible studies for teens, and other programs that are similar to find a group of young people who really do want to pursue a relationship with God. Small groups like that may be closer to what you are looking for. 🙂
Hey K! I can relate to this in some ways. I don’t know all the details and certainly wouldn’t attempt to make a blanket-statement on what to do in this situation, but I would strongly encourage you to speak with your parents and the adult leaders at your church about the problems you are encountering. I have a feeling that they probably aren’t enthused by your peers behavior either. Sometimes if a young person acknowledges the problem, adults are encouraged to make a statement or take action on issues like this.
Whatever you do though, be extremely careful not to let the peer pressure get the best of you. After all, if you end up acting just like them, what credibility will you have when you decide to stand up for the right thing? Proverbs has a lot to say on that 🙂 Maybe you could even recruit a mature adult from the Church to be accountable to as you seek to make a good influence. As for ministering to the other YGers, the first thing I would focus on is praying for them. Remember that actions start in the heart, and only the Lord can soften hearts.
Talk to God about it. Then do whatever is necessary to follow what He reveals to you- maybe even be prepared to remove yourself from the group if necessary.
Here’s a challenge for you, if you’re up to it: for the next 31 days, read a chapter out of Proverbs every day, asking the Lord to show you the application in this situation.
God Bless, I’ll be praying!
Yes K., I can totally relate. It’s hard to know what to do in that sort of situation – especially when you’re a bit “different” and don’t want to come across as arrogant or judgemental. I often struggle with this because while I can see problems with what the others are doing, I don’t want to use this as an excuse for myself to be unfriendly. When you’re the only homeschooler, it often takes time to build a good “reputation” among your youth group – but once they can see that you are genuine, you’ll be able to be friendly and maybe help them to be less of a tight-knit club and more of a helpful group. (It’s kind of hard, though, to do that on the roof…😊)
Same situation. I just don’t go anymore. I have bent over backwards trying to get others to even talk to me; there is a point when you have to decide when to draw the line.
That is true. Sometimes people can hurt you or your relationship with the Lord and you just need to cut them off. That is a hard decision to make though…
I totally know how you feel!! it’s so hard to find a good youth group. Do some scouting around of other churches in your area, there are good youth groups, I promise! if there isn’t one near you, try to start your own Bible study with friends from your homeschool group or sports teams (or whatever it is you do)
8th grade is a hard time, (I just survived it by a little) hang in there, it’s supposed to get easier about 11th grade (or so I’m told)
I would probably not go to that kind of youth group you’re describing. My dad is a pastor, and at our former church of about 10,000 or so people, the youth group was so shallow and the kids were very much more interested in “what can God do for me” rather than “what can I do for God” I went my 8th grade year and stopped after that. I ended up playing in the orchestra and helping out with the 4th grade girls sunday school class. I was so blessed and learned so much!! for an introvert like me, it was really hard at first, but now I wouldn’t change anything about it! so youth group is not necessary and very often, not helpful. So don’t worry, you’ll find your place! it just takes some time and some awkward moments!! hope this helps you! <3
I know how it is. My youth group will flat out ignore me all the time – even if I am talking directly to them. Over time I just went there more so for the lessons that are taught.
Yep. Except I wasn’t really learning anything at mine. So I stopped going.
Sounds like my sister going to the “junior youth” services…
Oh dear. Sometimes we just have to choose not to attend something if it’s not really helping us learn about Jesus. 🙁
I’m sorry that they do that to you Lauren. 🙁 I know how difficult it is to attend a youth group where people ignore you. I will be praying for you.
I know exactly how that is! To be honest, I’ve never found that stereo-typical youth group where everyone loves each other and comes only for the lesson. I’m sure there are some out there (I really hope there are!) but I have never seen one in person. In my youth group, everyone is younger than me. I’m the only senior, and most everyone else is at least a good two years younger. They talk and text during the service, and I’d say at least half of them have openly stated that they are either unsure about God or don’t believe in him at all. Because of this, our youth pastor tends to dumb down the lessons a little bit and our game time lasts way longer than the teaching. Even though I’m not challenged there, I keep going because I truly believe God can use me in their lives. From what I’ve seen, they respond much more to conversation about God than being talked at. I would pray about it before making any decisions. Maybe your youth group is a lost cause and you should seek spiritual feeding somewhere else, or maybe God has something special in store for you to do there. You never know! I’m sorry you’re feeling that way, but just remember: your self-esteem doesn’t come from them, it comes from God. When I first started going to youth group, I forgot this fact and it made me feel isolated and depressed. But then I realized that they didn’t hate me, they hated the Jesus sticking out of me. If these nasty people hate you, that’s probably a good thing! It means that you aren’t like them. Nasty people need love too though, and who knows, maybe God wants you to show it to them! Sorry about my rant, hope this helped:)
I know how this feels. I became rather bitter towards my youth group. I was ready to leave. But then God showed me that if I want to see them change I must stay and pray. Already (in three months) I have seen amazing change in lives and outlooks on life. And God spoke very clearly these words, “If you stand, they will too.” I know that I am a junior and you are in eighth grade, however I believe this can be true to your life as well. Teenagers are dieing to give their lives for something. Show them what a truly set apart life looks like. Someday they will join you.
As I have stated in multiple of my previous comments, I don’t have to deal with most of the issues “normal” teenagers have to deal with. Eg: youth group problems. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I can’t have an opinion on the subject. 😉 For as long as I can remember, my siblings have been my best friends. (What can I say? Living on a bus promotes unity.) We’ve basically done everything together, so in a way, they were my personal “youth group” in the best sense of the term. They were (and still are) my encouragers, motivators and examples and they reveal things to me from the Scriptures I may have missed or simply overlooked. I think the biggest problem with youth groups is that everybody is trying to fit in and be accepted, and that’s NOT what it should be about. There are two types of people in youth groups (in the church in general) the shallow, immature, self-absorbed Christian, and the sincere Christian. Sincere being in the minority. As for me, I’ve grown up going to adult Bible studies. Now a lot of people are under the misconception that teenagers are unable to grasp and internalize the higher concepts of a mature adult Bible study, but that simply is not true. I have gotten way more out of adult Bible studies than I ever got out of a youth Bible study. The gist of it is, you need to be wherever you feel you are receiving the most spiritual instruction. Wherever you are getting the most of God’s word. This comes with the elimination of distractions, and for me, an unruly, immature youth group is a major distraction. So really, what it should be about is not acceptance, not fitting in, but getting the message God is trying to send you. If you are having trouble focusing solely on God and His word while in youth group, maybe youth group isn’t where you need to be. Also, seek the wisdom of wiser, Godly influences. Whether they be parents, grandparents, etc. Their comprehension of spiritual matters is most likely greater than your own, so when encountering a difficult situation, ask advice from them. Seek the counsel of God. Ultimately the question is: am I really focusing on God’s word or are there too many surrounding distractions? Because the answer to that question is eliminate the distractions.
Great comment, Abby! I totally agree! My friend invited me to his youth group, and it borderline disgusted me. The first part was like a rock concert so loud I couldn’t even hear myself sing…then the message was really superficial. I won’t go into details ’cause I’ll just start ranting. 😉
But then later that week I went to my small-group Bible study and it felt SO much better and I feel like I learned so much more. So basically what I’m trying to say is, you’re spot on! Thanks for the comment! =)
Yes! It really frustrates me when youth pastors think that youth (as a whole, because it is true in some cases) can’t handle teaching with any depth. I guess they’ve never met any Rebelutionaries!
Hey I’m back 🙂 Was on vacation in Florida and had a great time! What’s up in your world?
Hey, good to “see” you!! 😉 That’s awesome! Uh, let’s see…school (always!). I had prom last week! Other than that, things have been pretty quiet. What about you? Did you go to Disney or was it something else?
Nice! I’m going to a celtic dance in a couple weeks myself! So other than getting sunburned, beating myself up while skimboarding, spending a ton of money, and nearly getting struck by lightning, it was pretty good 😀 We went to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for a day as well as Kennedy Space Center and Daytona International Speedway. I’ll try to post some pics tonight on Instagram, it was a really great time 🙂
Ooohh, fun! I love Animal Kingdom!! 🙂
Cool! Is that a style of dance or is it a theme? And lightning?? What?! You can’t say that and not explain. XD That sounds like a lot of fun! (Except for the “other than”s, lol). So you were only a couple states away from me for a while! That’s nest! I’ll try to check your Instagram later tonight. 🙂
It’s a celtic theme with celtic music and dances. It’s really fun! I also like that you swap partners every dance since I don’t have a girlfriend 😀 What was your dance like, a traditional prom or something else?
So we were at a put-put place and it started to rain so we went to a little covered porch attached to take shelter. Around 5 minutes later lightning decided to strike a little oak tree less than 50 feet away from where we were hanging out. (Ironically I had just seen on the Weather Channel a few days before that lightning has a mind of its own. Considering that it could of struck higher trees, a metal pole, the lagoon right next to us, or the enclosed porch and it choose a short oak tree instead, I’d have to agree.) Kinda scary!
Yep! I saw you guys got torched with some nasty weather. We missed most of it 😀 And btw I put a link to my Instagram in my Disqus profile so it’s right there 🙂
Very cool! Celtic music is pretty awesome. 😀 I understand the benefits of switching partners, but (and I have done it before) it kind of freaks me out, dancing with a lot of people I don’t know very well. It definitely works as an ice breaker. 🙂 It was a traditional prom, although I’m actually going to a home school prom this Friday. I went (and will be going) with the guy I swing dance with (have I told you about that?).
Yikes, that sounds scary! Lightning is on my list of stuff I’m morbidly afraid of, so yeah… *shudders* I’m glad you’re okay!
It wasn’t too bad. Just rain and rain and rain (and did I mention rain?!) for a whole week. There’s a big river down the road (downhill, thankfully) from us and it flooded. Good thing you guys didn’t have to deal with it! I saw the pic, it looks cool! I think the last time I was in that area was…ten years ago? Long time. Although we go to the northern part of Florida relatively frequently (for swing dancing and shopping! Lol).
Swapping partners really isn’t that bad though since I know most people there anyways. No I know that you swing dance but that’s it. Can you tell me more about it? Yea lightning freaks me out too. I screamed like a girl (!) and then promptly apologized to the people next to me 😀
I was happy we missed the rain too, lol. Btw I got my iPad! I like it a ton but I still can’t stand the Apple apps so I replaced them with a bunch of Google apps. You should see a screenshot of it!!!
That’s cool then! 🙂 Oh, it’s really hard for me to explain swing… I think it’s kind of reminiscent of jazz. There’s a lot of things you can do with it (and there are a lot of different styles). There are cool dips and lifts. It’s just a ton of fun! (But yeah, that was an awful explanation…sorry! XD)
Aw, I don’t blame you. And hiding under something metal?? I would have been freaking out about that–badly. 😛
That’s awesome! Lol, as long as you like it and you know how to fix what you don’t like. 😉 Which one did you get?
I got the Air 2. Other than getting used to a whole new OS it’s pretty cool. It can sure do alot of awesome things!
OK I now have to be the bearer of bad news 😔 It’s become painfully clear to me that I no longer have the time to really keep posting with Disqus, so I decided yesterday that it’s time to be done on here. Plus I’m nearly 18 so I’m starting to get a little old to post on a teen blog 🙂 I’ll be deleting my account in a couple days. Kinda sad I know but I’m just trying to make the best choices for my life and it just made sense to be done posting. You all are awesome though, keep doing hard things and living for God’s glory!
@steelersfan08:disqus: dude that’s a hard thing! You know, in a way that’s what this blog is all about, right? If you think that the Reb/Disqus is taking up too much of your time, then the hard thing would be to stop! So congrats, you got it! XD But dude, we’re seriously gonna miss you, man! =((( God bless! =)
Yea I’m gonna miss all you awesome people too! It’ll be kinda hard but I just know that it’s what I need to do right now. BTW I don’t know if any of you guys use Instagram but I post on it and would love to keep up with you all if you use it. I have a link in my profile 🙂
I don’t currently…maybe I’ll save the link though – if you ever get a follower called Josh A….. 😉
OK 🙂 Save the link tho since I’m deleting my account with the link soon!
I did! =)
I completely understand. It has been awesome chatting with you! By the way, it literally just occurred to me that I never got back to you on that other site–so sorry! But I digress. I’ll miss having you around, but I’m really impressed that you’re prepared to move on now that it’s the right thing to do. And all the same to you, my friend! 🙂 God bless!!
No problem😀 I’ll still be on that other blog every once in a while so we can chat if you want. I’ll really miss you all too! It’s really just starting to hit me. Can’t wait to meet you all in heaven!
Cool! I’ll try to pop back in there when I get the chance. 🙂 Same here! If we don’t happen to meet face-to-face before then, we definitely have that to look forward to. =)
Sounds good! Take care and keep going on school!
Same to you! 🙂 God bless!!
Oooooooh giiiiiiiiiiirl! A prom! Have fun 🙂
Haha, I will, thanks!!! This day is moving way too slowly. XD
How was it? Magical?
Haha, it was pretty awesome! The people were awesome and the swing dancing was amazing, but I discovered that I am a really awkward solo dancer. XD It didn’t help that the guy I was with totally rocked it solo. That is a level of awesomeness I can only aspire to (in my bedroom when no one is home!!). Lol 😀 but it was a lot better than the public school prom.
I’m glad you had a great time!!! I love solo dancing… when I’m solo… as in, by myself… 😀 I listen to a lot of hip hop/rap, so its hard NOT to dance at times. xD
I can agree to that, because I grew up in private school, and so every time that they tell us another story, i can remember all of it and quote some of the verses word for word. Hopefully will change when I get to high school.
Really really appreciate your comment Abby! As a homeschooler with an absolutely awesome family (I seriously love them to bits!), who never went to youth group but had parents who were extremely open about the world, their experiences and life, I am blessed to be able to say that my family are my best friends too. (despite being exhausted today as a result, having my big sister sit on my bed and talk until 2am this morning was an absolute joy – and having little siblings to keep you warm in bed is amazing 😉 ) Love your passion and your strong stance on seeking what is best – maturity and wisdom, not fun and popularity, are the precious gems to seek! So refreshing to read from a place where I sometimes feel (rightly or wrongly!) like I’m trying to be a rock in a sea of sand – may God raise many more up, both near me and throughout His people, to stand firm and proclaim boldly what is right and wrong, and to speak the truth with gentleness, respect and careful consideration. 🙂
God bless you Abby!
Your sister in Christ,
Welcome to the real world, K.
Churches are filled with fakes. Wide is the path that leads to destruction. And I suspect that many church goers will stand before God at judgement and say, “Lord, Lord, I did some cool things in your name!” And He will say, “Sorry dude, you didn’t really know me at all. See ya…” It will be a very sad day for millions of supposed Christians.
It’s like the story about the kid, Joe, who was trying to get into a party. Joe always talked so highly about the one who was throwing the party. Joe said nice things about him all the time, and even wrote songs about him because he thought he was so cool. So when it came time to get into the party, Joe said, “hey, I really think that the host is a super cool guy! I even wrote a song about him and told some of my friends about him!” But unfortunately, the party was for family only. And the host didn’t know who Joe was, because Joe never called him and spoke to him, he never came to visit him at his house. He never sent him an email or a text. He really didn’t know the host, but was hoping the host would just bend the rules a little so that Joe would look cool.
See, it was really all about Joe. Joe lived for himself. Just as I suspect those kids in your youth group do. And they may find themselves on the outside of the party.
Youth group is supposed to be a time to fellowship with the Lord and peers, you don’t have to beat them over the head every time they crack a joke, its even okay to have a few yourself, but youth group is a time to grow in the Lord. Its going to be hard not doing what everyone else is doing, but you’ll earn the respect of the adults, which is way more important. Our YG is teaching us how to be leaders, even though they are older if they see you have the adults’ respect and are strong believer who isn’t worried about what others think then they will want to have what you have, and that is a genuine appreciation for what YG represents. You only have YG for a few years, make the best of it.
I would like to (respectfully) disagree. I don’t think you should have to “make the best of it”. I mean, you shouldn’t have to “put up” with a bunch of idiotic immature teenagers who are more interested in impressing each other than getting closer to God. A lot of people wear the brand “Christian” and some even play the part well, but if you’re a true Christian, it’ll show up in your walk with the Lord. If the people in your youth group don’t display any signs that they are truly hungering and thirsting after righteousness -if they are tearing you down rather than building you up- why feel obligated to stay in youth group? Like I said, you shouldn’t have to put up with that and make the most of it. If you aren’t getting as much out of your youth group as you know you could elsewhere, even in an adult class, why stay in youth group? Don’t allow your walk with Christ to be swayed by popular opinion. Don’t “go along” with things just because every other kid your age does it. Be set apart. Don’t just deal with it. You set the example, then those who truly desire to be closer in their walk with the Lord will follow after you.
I totally agree with your statement about being set apart, that’s the whole point of being a believer-to be set apart. I guess what I meant to say more clearly is that by paying attention and growing from these lessons while still being a fun person to be around will show the fakes or unmotivated people that you can enjoy time in fellowship with the Lord. That’s not to say you should put up a show every time you shout ‘Jesus is my best friend,’ but that they see believers are normal people who have a well grounded faith. Thanks again for pointing that out. PS I know it can be hard to go to a YG where everyone is fooling around, but if they’re lost then what better place to minister?
Yeah, I didn’t think you meant it quite like that. Just thought I’d throw in my two cents. (I lost my third or else I would’ve thrown in three…) but I agree with you, that we are supposed to be mission minded and sometimes youth group can be a really good place to witness and set an example. However, my parents taught me growing up that I need to focus on my spiritual needs before trying to minister to others. So I mean, yes, we should be witnesses and help others, but we can’t do that unless we are spiritually equipped ourselves. I guess that’s the point I’ve been trying to get across.
Your absolutely right, what is the point in jumping into the flame without protection, I guess it depends on how strong your faith and foundation is for each set of circumstances.
Yeah Completely! My dad used to be hired over at a mega church with a ginormous youth group.I tried getting involved and during middle school it was really great, I had an awesome small group leader who lives only 5 minutes away from me. Then came the jump from middle school to high school. For a while it was Ok because all of my friends were as I was. Then it all went down hill 🙁 I was in the church choir so I never got very involved in the small group. Then the music ministry completely moved downhill so I tried getting into the small groups but I had been out for a while, and all of my friends had been in. My Dad was then let go and now I am trying out different youth groups in the area. So in conclusion I think that youth group can be a great opportunity and it is for the most part a great idea. You just need to make sure that they are centered on Christ and that you are as well…
Yea In my church we have a huge youth group but most of them are girls. Their always off task and doing other things you know. Hey maybe you can ask them to you know pay attention because the stuff they are teaching are very important when we become adults. Maybe you can talk to one of the adults and talk about it.
ooh 🙁 That is a pain I was over at a church a few weeks ago and right as the lesson started all of the girls migrated out. when we left the church we saw all of the girls walking around outside…
Well I guess its normal but I wish sometimes we get good discussion and serious talk.
Oh yeah! Definitely! At my old youth group we had a discussion week the third Sunday of every month. I was really excited cause I love to ‘debate’ and talk, but I think it probably should have had a little more structure. The kids would really get kinda harsh and stubborn. So I guess it depends on how mature people are going to act and how well you can handle things. When we talk we shouldn’t be rude but share our thoughts and opinions. And this may be my old school raising, but I think that when young men are discussing things with young ladies they should be a little more gentle in their argueing than if they were debating with each other. 🙂
I agree with you Haley. It is very different society today than when I was a kid.
I know exactly what you mean. The youth group that I go to has good kids and they are welcoming; however, all the kids seem distracted from what really matters. My brother, sister, and I have talked to the leaders and the kids. we could reach out to the unsaved that go and encourage the believers to not be afraid to stand out for Christ.
I will definitely have you and your family in my prayers.
Thank you very much. God bless!
Is there any thing I can pray for you about?
Yea just pray that my youth group and other people to prepare for what is coming in the future and that we will trust Jesus always.
I will definitely do that!
Thank you so much !! 🙂
honestly i have never been to youth group but i have been to summer camp
I would definitely suggest visiting other youth groups…..there is good and bad in all of them and it’s really good to get that perspective, plus you can meet some really great friends!!! It’s awesome to be connected with a bunch of churches in your area, even if you only go to one regularly on Sundays……
I just want to thank you, Hannah for posting this. I agree with it and also feel we have some things in common: I am homeschooled as well and felt really out of place when I first started going to Youth Group. I did the same things as you and now have some great friendships developed. I continue to have opportunities to encourage the kids in Christ as well. I would like to request prayer for courage however, as I have always been shy. I know it is just an excuse and really fear; I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength! Your sister in Christ.
I will pray for you!
Thank you! Is there anything you would like prayer for?
Your sister in Christ
A friend of mine and his family are going through a really tough time right now and need prayer.
Well I will definitely pray for them. God bless!
How is your friend and his family doing now? I have been praying for them.
He is doing much better. Thank you for your prayers! God is good!
Yes, he is all the time!
That is good to hear!
I honestly don’t like going to
I feel what your talking about. I mean with the youth group being small and stuff. I live that every Wednesday. I’m always the oldest there which is awkward, because everyone is looking up to me. I have to make sure these kids don’t kill each other with anything. I was homeschooled when I first went to my youth group, I knew the people there but I didn’t get along with a lot of them.But my advice for you is to do what you think God wants you to do. I know that can be really hard, but it will turn out all the better for you. And if they leave you out from things and continue to not welcome you invite your best friend or some people you know. And when new people come to your youth group you can be the one that accepts them and talks to them. And doesn’t encourage them to do the wrong things. It’ll get better if you keep trying to be yourself don’t fall into the bad stuff that they’re doing. Just try to stay strong in what you think the Lord wants you to do.
I felt (and still do) feel that way a lot. Pray for them. Pray for their eyes to be opened. And pray for yourself. Pray that you have compassion for them. The number one thing to do is respond with love, but do not be tempted by them. Create an example of what a follower of Christ should be like. You should be warned however that they probably won’t want to be friends with you. But you have something much more valuable, a relationship with the creator of the universe. Hold on to that. Stay strong 🙂
Yeah … I have youth group issues. Ours isn’t very “Bible-based” so I don’t attend – which is super hard, because I get weird looks/comments for not going :/