Seven reasons to skip youth group this week

Image: Seven reasons to skip youth group this week

...and what's wrong with all of them

I used to think that it wasn’t important to go to youth group every week. It wasn’t as though my attendance at youth group would be calculated for the year and if I got over 80% attendance I had passed and would be accepted into heaven. There was so much stuff on in high school and I didn’t want to alienate my non-Christian friends by not hanging out with them on Friday evenings, I just didn’t see why youth group was such a big priority.

If I’d thought about it much at the time I would have given these 7 reasons why it wasn’t important to be at youth group each week. I would have said it’s not important to be at youth group each week because

    1. You can be a Christian without attending youth group
    2. I’ve missed a week before and I’m still a Christian
    3. No one seems to notice when I’m not there
    4. Other people seem to miss it too
    5. I had school events that were on
    6. Life will get less busy once I get out of high school, I’ll be regular at church then
    7. I’ve got a few other Christian things on that week so I’m not going to fall away

It wasn’t until I grew older that I realised the faults with these statements. Here's the problem with each of them:

1. You can be a Christian without attending youth group

Of course, attending events won’t get me into heaven. But to not attend shows my lack of acknowledgment of how privileged I am to be included in God’s family and how important my role is in that family. If my aim isn’t to be there every week, then I’m not taking my responsibility seriously.

2. I have missed a week before and I’m still a Christian

This implies that youth group is all about my needs and ‘keeping me Christian’. I had failed to realise that I am meant to go to youth group for other people, to encourage them, fellowship with them, grow with them.

3. No one seems to notice when I’m not there

Often I was discouraged when other people weren’t there, but it never dawned on me that it discouraged others when I wasn’t there. It's true that when there’s 9 people at youth group one week and 8 there the next, it’s noticeable. But even in big groups, your presence at youth group is more important to other people than you realise.

4. Other people seem to miss it too

This excuse was as bad as ‘but he started it’. What better way to encourage others to come every week than for them to see you there each week. You can show people you care when they’re not there by sending them an SMS - not to make them feel guilty but to let them know you missed them and are looking forward to encouraging them next time you’re meeting.

5. I had school events that were on

I didn’t need to go to the school dance. I didn’t need to go to band night. Events like these seem to come up all the time and because they were one–offs, I felt they were important. They weren’t. It seemed like I had to go but I was a lot more responsible for my priorities than I realised. I had bought a season pass to a football team and then wanted to go each Friday night. I had decided to sign up for an indoor sports team that played at different times each Friday. In reality I just viewed youth group as less important than it really was.

6. Life will get less busy once I get out of high school, I’ll be regular at church then

If anyone reading this is out of high school they’ll know how silly I was to think this. Ask your youth group leaders if life gets any less busy after high school. Life only gets busier! So now is the best time to get into good habits for consistent attendance at youth group and getting into a habit of saying no to things and selecting a better thing over a good thing.

7. I’ve got a few other Christian things on that week so I won’t forget about God.

The legalist in me was asking "what is the least number of times I could go to youth group and still remain a Christian?". I should have been asking," what is the most amount of times I can go?". I didn’t realise that youth group wasn’t for my benefit but for others.

‘Let us consider how we may spur one another on to love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together as many are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as we see the day approaching.’ (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Comments (3)

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  • user

    Em

    :)

  • user

    Joseph

    I used to stay away from youth groups thinking the same thing, but then i realized after going to one, it really got to me how weak i was as a christian and the excuses i was making.  I go every Wednesday now, and i enjoy getting to talk with my youth pastor, i attend another youth friday nights, go to church Sunday, and now im starting to go to a worship session on Monday nights. And it has made me stronger, when im around other christians i feel strong, and not afraid, but when im alone i become weak

  • user

    Fervr

    thanks for sharing Joseph. Great to hear youth group is a real positive experience for you!

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