Whether you’ve been in Youth Ministry since the revolutionary invention of the overhead projector or you’re fresh out of college with a guitar strapped to your back and a Frisbee in hand, there’s a good chance that you’ve asked yourself the question, “How do I get teens to come to youth group?”
I remember asking that question. Heck, I tried anything and everything: Food, guilt, bribery, doing their homework, whatever. I just wanted teens in the door so I could impart my wisdom . . . err . . . I mean, God’s wisdom upon them.
One time I went so far as to promise to shave my head if 200 teens showed up to our Fall Kickoff. That’s right. I got up during people’s favorite time to leave Mass, the pulpit announcements, and promised to shave off my gorgeous locks to get teens to come to our youth group.
As a single youth minister at the time, I thought the teens that didn’t normally come would show up because this handsome man was willing to put his extensive social life on the line for their sake: “I am the good youth minister; I lay down my hair for the teens.”
For some reason, I pictured them all flocking to Life Night following behind me as I rode on a horse like William Wallace in Braveheart shouting, “Freedom!” (Minus the hair, of course).
Alas, there was no horse. I did not turn into William Wallace. We did not get 200 teens at the Life Night so I didn’t shave my head. My flowing locks remained. Perhaps my line of thinking was off. Did I really believe that the teens who didn’t think that much of me and didn’t bother coming anyway would show up just so I had to shave my head?
It seems kind of silly now, but I know I am not alone. Many of us youth ministers do crazy things to get teens to come to our events. Sometimes we’re successful, and sometimes we’re not, but it’s all so teens will come to know the love of Jesus Christ.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to get teens to come to Youth Group? (Share a story below).