It’s the question that 98% of youth pastors hate to get asked:
“How many kids you got coming?”
Why? Because most of us don’t have huge youth groups.
My guess is that most groups have about 15 students coming each week, and that’s probably a combined crowd of Junior High and High School students.
My attendance was in a constant state of flux for years. I became the Golden Boy one year when I hosted an event with over a thousand teenagers in attendance. My title didn’t last long.
We had about 200 kids coming for a while in my Junior High Ministry. Then I transitioned to High School where we’d peak around 160 but then valley in the 60’s at times.
Nothing had changed but the attendance. I was doing the same thing year in and year out. I was working hard. I was committed. I was even putting together “evangelistic” events and teaching through topics that we intended to draw crowds. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.
Today I’m the same guy, doing the same thing (sort of), teaching through the same bible… but this year our attendance is way up.
I can’t take the credit because I’m doing the exact same thing I was doing when I got fired for my low attendance just 2 years ago!
Jesus would probably get fired by most churches if he was the youth pastor. He’d spend way too much time with kids and not enough time planning huge events. He’d be horrible using technology. I’m guessing he wouldn’t shop at Buckle. And come on Jesus… 12 students doesn’t really cut it if you’re church is MEGA.
Attendance isn’t everything, faithfulness is.
Hey youth pastors will small youth groups: you’re in pretty good company!
I worked my heart out for years and had 60 kids coming. I’m doing the same thing now and the numbers are up.
I think God is involved. God may have wanted me to have a smaller group for some reason. He might choose to cut my current group in half next year. He’s got the right to do whatever he wants. Or he may double it. Who knows!?
If your success as a youth pastor is based on your attendance, I’d like to introduce you to my friends at Church Staffing. Quit now, and go find a church that wouldn’t fire Jesus. Feel free to send me your resume’.
Don’t give up or give in.