Before I even get into this one, I beg your forgiveness. I know this should’ve been earlier on the list. I know that pizza and youth ministry go together like peanut butter and jelly, Batman and Robin, or Jonah and the “whale.” And I know that by neglecting it for this long, I probably lost some Youth Ministry street-cred.
But could you imagine if we started this list with pizza? Your first thought would’ve been, “Oh . . . how original. Pizza is something youth ministers Like. I can’t wait to keep reading your clever blogs Master Yoda . . .” (sarcasm intended). And yet at the same time, to not mention it at all seems a little silly. Let’s be honest, if there were ever a Youth Ministry Hall of Fame (which I propose we put in Emmaus), pizza would be the first induction.
It’s impossible to have a major youth ministry event and not have pizza. There’s just something about that greasy box of semi-heated dough and cheese that just screams “manna from above.” And, like stale donuts after Sunday morning Mass, teens have come to expect it.
Seriously, you would think that Youth Group was the only place teens could get free pizza. And forget about it if you bring any to the local high school. You instantaneously turn into the “pied piper” (pun intended).
Heck, most students in my neighboring high schools thought I was the “Domino’s Delivery Man” rather than the Catholic Youth Minister. (Sometimes I’d wear a blue collared shirt and black slacks just to mess with them).
So maybe it’s a little cliché. Maybe it’s a “cheesy” way to invite teens to Youth Group. But any upper “crust” Youth Minister will tell you that no matter how you “slice” it, free pizza just sounds more appealing than: “Hey teens, join us tonight for our Fall Kickoff as we play hopscotch while eating broccoli trunks wrapped in raw spinach leaves.”
Question: What meals do you serve to your teens other than pizza? (Share below)