By: Tucker Ficklin, 2015 Summer Staff
There’s nothing quite like spending your teenage years in a youth group. Although youth ministry has evolved a lot over the years, there are still those classic traditions that have stood the test of time.
Whether you’re a teenager that just joined your church’s youth group, or a twenty-something that wishes your old t-shirt still fit, here’s some unique youth group memory-makers:
There’s just something about being locked inside of a church all night that makes a thirteen-year-old feel so alive. Just imagine…
- Copious amounts of pizza.
- Silly-string and shaving cream.
- Epic games of hide and seek that cause thousands of dollars of damage to the church building.
If you’ve ever wondered how well that old, smelly couch someone donated in the church basement would make as a bed, this is your chance. Wait, what am I saying? Nobody is getting any sleep. #partyallnight
If your first real concert experience wasn’t spent in awe of Skillet’s sick pyrotechnics and ability to make the walls of an arena shake, did you even go to youth group? From countless camps, conferences and concerts, church kids are well versed in live Christian music. We also know how to pass long periods of time waiting in line and then mob our way into the doors – Winter Jam, anyone? Just remember not to spend all your money on Toby Mac and Newsboys t-shirts; you have to save some cash for youth group trip to IHOP after the show.
AKA: the best week of the year. From the initial bus ride, the super cool staff and activities to crazy-good speakers and worship leaders, camp is this unbelievable experience that changes lives. Jesus does something wild with all of this goodness among your bestest youth group friends. Sign me up!
Unless you refuse to leave youth (like me) to become a youth minister, intern or camp staffer, the remarkable camp experience simply can’t be replicated. Oh, and let’s not forget the spiritual, emotional, faith-growing, everyone-cries-and-loves-each-other nights that always happen at camp. Which leads me to number four….
4. THE SPIRITUAL, EMOTIONAL, FAITH-GROWING, EVERYONE-CRIES-AND-LOVES-EACH-OTHER NIGHTS
This is the bread and butter of youth group, y’all. There’s something so surreal that happens during the night at camp huddled around a table of cards, or during a conference experience or even that special youth retreat. In these moments, God moves so powerfully that we can’t help but gather to swim happily in a pool of each other’s tears of joy.
Seriously though, these aren’t just some of the best times you’ll have in youth group, but these memory-maker moments might just be some of the best times of your entire life. The community, testimonies and life change that happens in youth group is what being a family of believers is all about. Even though Christian community can be found at any time in life, these moments as a teenager are particularly special.
I’d like to invite you to consider your local church’s youth group or reach out to the Clayton King Ministries team to see how you can get plugged in!
About the Author:
Tucker Ficklin is a student at Appalachian State University, with a major in Journalism and minor in Political Science. He currently serves on Appalachian's Engage Student Ministries' media team, and continues to support his home church, Cornerstone Summit Church. Tucker has been a Crossroads camper for many years and is serving his second year on camp staff. Follow Tucker's story on his blog: bealltheretf.wordpress.com.