One of the hardest things in youth ministry is to NOT gauge your performance based on numbers. It is very difficult, though, when only a few attend the activities that you plan. Here are some things that might go through your mind...
- Am I boring? Do I plan boring stuff?
- Are the things I'm planning helping our teens to grow spiritually? Are they too deep? Is that why the don't show up? Are they too shallow?
- I feel guilty for taking the church's money for doing an activity with ONE teenager.
- Is it worth doing an activity if only one or two show up?
- How come coaches and parents can require teens to attend (insert extracurricular activity) practice, but not spiritual activities?
- Maybe I'm just a bad youth minister...
What is the secret? How do some churches consistently get a large percentage of kids to go? Is it having a dynamic personality in the youth ministry position? Is it adding more staff or volunteers? Is it providing things for the parents so that they will drag their kids along? Is it pouring more $$$ into it and making it bigger and louder?
Obviously, I don't know the answer yet!! But I DO know this...it feels great when the kids you ministered to call you from college on a regular basis! It is awesome when one of "your teens" calls you for a Bible question. It is all worth it when they tell you that they remember your classes or devotionals! It is rewarding when they call just to say that they appreciate you!
When those things happen, small numbers in attendance don't really seem to matter.