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It’s an argument as old as church itself — when is the best time to hold youth service? After all, you want to leverage your time to be appealing to both parents and teens, but you may not want to interfere with family time or other events. There are very good arguments for many different times to have youth services. Though it is impossible for everyone to agree, we here at M2Y have compiled some information that may help you in making your decision. But remember, ultimately you will need to make a decision that works best according to your personal and church schedule.

Single Youth Services vs. Multiple Weekly Services

In planning the time of week for youth services, few youth pastors are lucky enough to pick a time without encountering concerns, complaints or downright opposition from staff members, parents, and the worst — senior staff members who are also parents. If your plotted time doesn’t bode well with everyone, the people-pleaser in you may decide it’s best to hold multiple weekly services. And that’s okay…if, and only if you have the time, energy, support and dedication to pour into your teens and services whole-heartedly more than once every seven days. Coasting by isn’t going to cut it, and your teens will notice if you are showing up with poorly prepared messages or sloppy planning. In our opinion, do one thing and do it right. If you are doing your job well and not ‘running on fumes’, others will adapt their schedules to fit yours.  On the other hand, if you are overflowing with helpful adult leadership and have more than enough time to hold multiple weekly services (we call you the one percent around here), then go for it!

Breaking it Down – Day by Day

Sunday Morning

Many churches adopt Sunday morning youth services, though we here at M2Y only recommend them for Sunday School purposes and in addition to another main youth service. The truth is that teens don’t like getting up early and are less likely to attend Sunday morning – especially if they do not attend church with their families. Also, teenagers are old enough and fully capable of worshipping with adults in the main Sunday morning service.

Sunday Night

Sunday night is a popular night for youth services and is also one of our favorites. The reason? Kids have had time to unwind after a week of school and are less likely to have homework than they are on Wednesday nights or prior plans than they are on Saturday nights. Plus, youth service is fresh on their minds after being reminded at Sunday morning church service. The downside? They have school the next day and parents may want to reserve Sundays for family night.

Wednesday Night

Wednesdays are perhaps the most popular night of all for youth services, but why? More and more churches are getting away from mid-week services due to scheduling conflicts. Instead, they are opting for a small group format that seems to work well and also foster relationship among church members. Kids often have after-school commitments, sporting events, and homework that gets in the way of regular Wednesday attendance. If you are itching for a mid-week gathering, try a small group format, fellowship or Bible study.

Saturday Night

Like Sunday nights, Saturdays are popular nights for youth service – especially among larger churches. Our advice? Go with a Saturday service if you have a youth ministry that your teens are itching to come to week after week. There’s no school the next day, and you’ll benefit when teens are at church rather than hanging out late into the night without adult supervision. Keep in mind, however, that Saturday nights are sacred to most teenagers. If your youth services aren’t up to par – they probably won’t show up. It’s nothing personal, except that their social lives are a high priority (right up there with breathing and sleep).

 

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So this website is all about you, the youth pastor or volunteer. It isn’t just about telling you how to be more effective or how to create awesome events. We care about YOU and your personal struggles in youth ministry. No one is perfect and we all deal with problems. Whether they are with your leadership team, your church staff and elders, your budget, your fundraising capabilities, your creativity, your ability to connect, your organization abilities or your passion for youth ministry – we’ve all been there. So I want you to spill it all out. Shoot me an email at Allison@MinisterToYouth.com and feel free to ask a question, make a comment, or even vent a frustration or two. If you email, you’ll get a personal response of support, prayer and maybe even a helpful suggestion to help you on your way. While your at it, feel free to refer your youth ministry friends to our site as well. We love expanding our reach and want to connect with as many youth leaders as possible. Thanks for all you do for teenagers, and I can’t wait to hear from you!

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