4) Your Students Ignore Visitors
After nearly five years in full-time ministry, I have little to add on this point. Your best greeters for guests will always be your students. An adult leader can be a great greater, but a great student greater will be better. Relationally, to state the obvious, teenagers have more in common with each other. More importantly, students know that adults are there as leaders. They’re supposed to be friendly. Students who choose to be friendly are choosing to be friendly.
Create a culture of friendliness towards guests. The tricky part comes when you realize that a healthy youth group will like each other. Therefore, they want to spend time with each other. By telling them to spend time with guests, they’re not spending time with each other, the people they already know they like.
“If everything you do is identical to the church down the street, you’re going to be competing with the church down the street.” – Sean 2009
With four years of perspective, I don’t think I would argue that you’re competing with the church down the street unless you behave that way. If your ministry is identical, if it’s a good model, that can be a good thing. You can be partners who support each other. There are more than enough lost people in the world to fill two churches with the same model.
6) You Have all the Wrong People Making Decisions
This is very true, except you may not be the person who knows teenagers best in all senses. I’m 31 with 5 years of full-time ministry experience, and I have a 1 year old child. The lead pastor at my church has a 20 year old, 18 year old, and 16 year old. He spent 20 years in youth and family ministry (the majority was in strictly youth ministry). During his time at one of his churches he grew the ministry from around 100 students to roughly 700 students in 10 years. He knows more about students, parents, and student ministry than I do. If I’m making a controversial decision, I would be a fool not to get his input.