You’re not a legit New Testament church unless you’ve got a youth group. But not just any youth group will do. Teaching Bible stories on a flannelgraph board may have passed for biblical youth ministry back when your grandpa was a young whippersnapper, but that just won’t cut the mustard today.
We consulted with thousands of biblical scholars and asked them what the most important elements of a biblical youth group are, and this is what they came up with. Don’t get mad at us; we’re just reporting the facts.
1.) A fully stocked video game arcade. Lame youth groups might have a busted old Ms. Pac-Man cabinet or Donkey Kong arcade machine gathering dust in the corner. You need to rise above the chaff with the very latest arcade games, ones that are only out in Japan and you’ve got to have them specially imported for tens of thousands of dollars. It’s the only way to show that you truly care about the souls of your youngsters.
2.) Wacky biblical games like spin the bottle and chubby bunny. What better way to train up your kids in the way they should go than playing some spin the bottle, steal the bacon, or chubby bunny?
3.) A youth pastor you can’t tell apart from the youth. Your youth pastor should blend in perfectly, showcasing a Sherlock Holmes-level mastery of disguise. He needs to infiltrate the group carefully, gaining the trust of the natives before they’ll ever listen to his life lessons and messages ripped straight from the latest issue of Game Informer or Teen Vogue.
4.) Summer missions trips to idyllic locations. Your entire goal here is to get the kids to feel good about themselves. So send them off to the Caribbean to build a new youth building for a poor church somewhere, whether or not the church actually wants the shoddy building your kids will slap together in a few days before going off to explore the exotic tropical beaches.
5.) Bus rides filled with more drama than an HBO miniseries. You know your youth ministry is effective if bus trips to summer camp feature no less than 250 break-ups, DTRs, and dramatic cat-fights. This is powerful evidence that your attempt to disciple your youth is paying off in a big way.
6.) A worship band with eighteen electric guitar players on rotation and one bassist. A biblical youth worship band has between one and two dozen guitar players playing a Fender Stratocaster on their rotation, and only one bassist on their roster. Chicks dig the guitar players, especially the ones with 49 pedals.
7.) Glow stick worship raves, like King David used to throw. Have your worship band bump up the jam with some biblical party rock penned by theologians like Kesha or LMFAO, crack some glow sticks, and toss ’em into the crowd. Watch the Spirit move, baby!
8.) Total lack of anything resembling the boring main service. If you want your youth to one day grow up to be faithful church members (and let’s be honest here: tithers), you’ve got to pull off the ol’ bait-and-switch. Make them think Christianity is 100% fun and games, or else they may slip through your fingers when it comes time for them to graduate to real church.
Now get out there and use the methods of the world to bring the youth into the Kingdom!