Critical mass in a small church youth group can be, well, critical. Sometimes. Who determines what a successful number in attendance is anyway?
Recently, after working with a church, I was driving back to my lodging and it occurred to me how often the people in that church said, “We only had…(then filled in the blank with the number of students or families who showed up). Their phrasing seemed like nothing measured up to the “good ol’ days.” It was depressing! I can only imagine what the students who ARE showing up there faithfully must think.
I wish they had experienced what I had with their students. When the youth showed up for their listening group, there were “only” three. And they were just the best! We had a great time. Seriously, I could have spent all afternoon with those three kids. As I walked them back to their parents, the four of us were laughing and doing Happy Potter impressions. Good times.
The moral of this story? Small churches: ELIMINATE the phrase, “we only had” from your conversations about the youth ministry. Yes, maybe your church was bigger in numbers and there “used to be” 35 kids in your church – 3 decades ago. Who counts now are the 3 terrific kids right in front of you. Just think of all the advantages:
1) You can remember all their names.
2) The whole group fits into your car.
3) You can fit into one booth at Applebees.
4) You’ve got the bandwidth to hit up each of their school events without stressing your schedule.
5) Funding raising for next summer’s mission trip won’t be nearly so hard.
I could go on and on…but you get the picture.