Let’s face it: going to a small church where there is not much of a youth group is not very appealing to teenagers—or even for their parents. When teenagers think of a great place to hang out, the last thing that typically comes to mind is a small church where a lot of “old people” go. The first thing that comes to their mind usually has something to do with friends their age and fun games. They just want to go somewhere familiar and comfortable. For the most part, parents tend to want the same thing for their teenagers. They just want to make them happy—they want what is best for them. After all, the only people from whom teenagers can learn how to live life as a teenager are other teenagers and a young-hip youth pastor.
Okay, if you are still reading and have not yet moved onto a better article or started writing a letter to the editor, there is some good news for us, not to mention, actual truth. The truth is that many families cycle through this process, over and over again, of searching for a large youth group with a young-hip youth pastor until they have found just the right one. It could even be the coolest youth ministry that is miles and miles from home. It is quite natural for a family to seek and prefer a church with people their own age. We must admit that to some degree it makes sense to do that, but there is another way that has proven to be successful, effective, and even healthier.