17 Things I Miss About Youth Group


Photo from Youth Celebration Night 2007, KFBC

Youth group gets a bad rep, but it wasn’t all that bad. It’s been over ten years now and I only got to experience it for a couple years, but some things I miss:

1) Insane up-all-night lock-ins and waiting for other people to sleep, so we could toothpaste their eyebrows.

2) When you and the last guy standing at the lock-in have the deep crazy existential talk about life until the sun comes up.

3) Random laser tag, Chuck E Cheese, rock-climbing, canoe day, and water balloon fights at the park.  I don’t see why adults stop doing these things.

4) The tight-knit bond you develop with your praise team, musically and spiritually.  And when the drummer and praise leader can share a glance during a song and read each other’s minds.

5) Crazy sermon illustrations.  One time my youth pastor preached on the Parable of the Wedding Banquet, and to play a beggar, he had tore up his dress shirt and slacks and rubbed his body in dirt.  No one ever forgot that sermon and we even remembered the point.  I also brought a few friends that day and they came back.

6) The excitement of meeting new people who love Jesus.

7) Friday night service, jumping up and down to praise songs and totally not caring.

8) Summertime, all day everyday at church getting them spiritual growths.

9) Watching the really quiet nerdy introverted kid grow into a confident, mature, consistent, solid believer.

10) Laughing at hilarious Powerpoint typos.  “We will worship the ham of gory.” 

11) Christmas time at church is Super-Ridiculous-Awesome.  Thousands of lights, corny reenactments of the Nativity, Secret Santa gift exchange (a girl always got a toy truck or Transformer), dressing your winter best for Sundays, hot chocolate at church, fervent prayer time during New Year’s. 

12) When the youth pastor bought snacks on Sunday afternoons and brought a deck of cards or a board game.

13) Feeling like you finally belong somewhere, especially when your family and school is so upside-down.

14) Actually just being friends with the opposite sex.

15) The first time the Gospel hits you right between the eyes, through your heart, out your soul.

16) Those Sundays of healing.  Youth crying together, growing together.

17) Senior year, when you finally step it up as a leader, and realizing you’re going to miss everybody: even the crazy ones.

Enjoy youth group — it’s a very short, precious, underrated window of time that can shape the rest of your spiritual life.

How about you? Best memories?

7 thoughts on “17 Things I Miss About Youth Group

  1. 1. Packing 35 kids into our youth leader’s living room for Bible study.
    2. All night prayer-a-thons. Jumping off the deck of them youth leaders house at 10 in the morning intgo snow piles to try and stay awake.
    3. Bible quiz
    4. Youth Conventions
    5. Youth group trips to South Hero Vermont. Laying in the middle of a Vermont country road at midnight talking about Jesus.


  2. I only have a few years of youth group left. *sniff* I’m going to enjoy it while I can!
    My favorite things?
    1. When our worship leader plays the wrong tune on his guitar/can’t get the video to play correctly/messes up ANYTHING and we all yell at him, because he’s fun to tease. :3
    2. Mercilessly pelting each other with water balloons at the summer events.
    3. Running around in front of the church screaming after youth group is over and probably terrifying the neighbors who live across the street.
    4. Playing murder games. 😉
    5. Utterly showing up the boys at foosball (which I can actually only do on occasion . . .).
    6. Making some awesome new friends who love Jesus as much as I do.
    Thanks so much for this post! I never understood why people seem to think youth group is all that bad. They should come to mine; we’re one crazy church. XD


  3. This is all so true! This upcoming year I will be a Senior and I’m not looking forward to having to leave 😦 However, I have many, many memories from youth group. And plenty more to come. Haha, I am definitely #9. I was VERY shy, introverted, and nerdy. I still am, in a way, but I am coming out of my shell more and more everyday as I am taking a leadership position in my youth group and tackling many out-of-my-box opportunities. Thanks for the article, it was a joy to read 🙂


  4. 1. Rap battles almost every night during our retreats
    2. Spontaneous hang outs after bible study
    3. Being able to meet people because our desire to know more about Jesus, and not because of anything else.


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