As a youth worker, I've always felt the struggle between the actual amount of time I get to spend teaching and working with youth and the amounts of time they spend doing other things that are required of their time such as school, school sports, choir, band, drill team, cheerleading, one act play, UIL events, Academic Decathlon, sleeping, chores, hanging out with friends, going to the movies, etc., etc. Naturally, I've always thought that an easy way to combat this was to give students more opportunities to meet for Bible study throughout the week and through more events and activities on weekends. Many churches meet only once a week, but I've always tried to meet on Sunday and Wednesday nights--Sundays for small groups and Wednesday for a combined group meeting. At each meeting we have about 30 minutes of hang-out time (refreshments, video games, table games, Christian music videos playing on the TVs), then about 15-20 minutes of worship, then we have Bible study (everyone together or split into small groups). After Bible study is over, we have about 30 minutes more of hang-out time. We also have Sunday School, however, that has never been an outreach-oriented time. That is mainly attended by the kids whose parents are members of the church and are attending a class of their own and our church services.
Today, though, I was emailing back and forth with one of our youth workers discussing some of the issues in our youth program. Although he was very supportive of our twice-a-week meetings, he seemed open to the possibility that having more than one meeting a week (besides Sunday School) may actually be a deterrent for some kids who feel like if they can't make all of them, then why should they come to any of them? I've always thought if they couldn't make one, they could always make the other, so in my mind, more meetings was a good concept. However, the more I think about it, I think he may be on to something.
So, I'm posing this question to you, my peers in youth ministry. How often does your group meet? What format(s) are those meetings. Do you have any outdoor recreation? Give me your thoughts on how your group responds to your scheduled meetings and leave them in the form of a comment to this blog. Your input is valued and appreciated.