It’s important to realise that whether we bring friends or don’t bring friends, we’ve still got important work to do in looking after and taking care of people. We want to always be setting an example of Jesus in the way we behave, and this includes taking care of new people at youth group.
Here is some practical advice for when you bring a friend to youth group, and also for when you don’t.
I brought a friend to youth group. Now what?
- Take care of them for the night and fight the temptation to run off with your usual group of friends.
- Be wary of in-jokes and other ways of relating to people that may be exclusive to your new friend.
- Introduce your friend to other people at youth group who may have similar interests, or be of a similar age.
- Pray continually, before bringing them, during the time they’re there, and after they’ve left, that they will come to know Jesus as Lord.
- Look out for opportunities to invite them back.
- Ask them what they thought about the bible study or talk, or about Jesus. I’ve found it helpful to ask if what they’ve heard or learnt at youth group is new or different to what they’ve heard before – this helps me understand what they think of Jesus already.
- Keep praying for your other friends, that they might come to youth group one day too!
I haven’t brought a friend to youth group. Now what?
I think we can forget that we still have work to do even if we haven’t brought a friend. It’s our role to be looking after the friends that others have brought.
- Keep an eye out for new people and go meet them.
- Make the effort to talk to them and include them. Remember, new people are often very shy and youth group can be a very unfamiliar place. Help them to feel at ease and comfortable by talking to them.
- Pray for the friends other people have brought.
- Make contact with them outside of youth group afterwards. Add them on Facebook and talk to them. If people make friends at youth group with other people, they are more likely to come back again.
- Look for opportunities to hang out as a group outside of youth group. Once again, if people make friends with others at youth group, they will be more likely to come back again.
- Don’t stop praying for your own friends too! Keep praying that they might come one day and that others would welcome them!