One of the things I love about the holidays is returning home to the church that my Dad preaches and I consider my home church, as well as returning to my Wife’s home church in Rhode Island. One of my least favorite aspects about this, however, is the envy that ensues when I walk in the doors of these two buildings. They have great atmospheres, make you feel welcome and at home almost as soon as you enter, and don’t even get me started on the Youth area’s.
I’m left with this feeling of inadequacy, and I don’t really know why. It’s almost as though I start thinking about all the things I COULD do with that space and COULD do in a church like that, but in the end I’m not in a church like that and so feel like I can never do those things.
The problem is that some of those things I could do in the ministry I currently am in, but they wouldn’t be effective. We have several great volunteers in this ministry, but many of the things I would do would not work with 7 volunteers alone.
Being in our area that is pretty devoid of Youth Ministry, the kids in our schools who want to go to youth group either come to us or a mini-mega church a half hour away. I’ll be the first to tell you they do some pretty awesome things, but they have a much bigger pond to do them in. They aren’t in a small town, we are. They are a church of over 1400, we are not. Many of my students either have been to their youth ministry or know someone who has. I’ll admit its tough when I’m planning for our fall/winter retreats thinking about what activities we can do and a student comes up to me on Sunday Night and says “I Just got back from First Baptist’s retreat and it was AWESOME! We did this cool thing, and this amazing thing, and those weren’t even the coolest things we did!”
I know it’s not about what Youth group can do the coolest things, but one of the challenges that arises is how do you get your students to invite their friends to their youth group if their friends are inviting them to a cooler one?
Over the next several weeks I want to give my two cents on some of these challenges of being in a Small Church vs. Big Church, and I hope you’ll join in on the conversation. I have several challenges in mind, but if you have a good one and want to add your opinion, let me know, and maybe you could give a guest post.