How to Start a Church Youth Group?

I understand that either you run a church or you are a part of it.

But you still feel like there must be a bit more organised way to connect with people who come to the church.

And hence you are thinking to create a group which could connect more and more people in your local community. Specially the younger once. The Youth!

Well…

There are a couple of things you need to remember before even thinking about it.

  1. Young generation has a very small attention span. One study suggested that because people spend quite a lot of time on social media. Our attention span has been reduced to around 6 seconds. Yes, I am not joking. You have only 6 seconds to keep your audience with you, or else they will just leave and start consuming some other content.
  2. In order to run a group successfully, you need proper planning and tools available. Or else you will be putting too much effort which will just burn you out totally.
  3. You require a leader. Yes, I said it. You require a young, energetic leader who could drive, convince and maintain the current flowing in the group.
  4. And last but not least, you need a plan. Obviously, it's not like setting up a new business. But trust me you will end up doing similar activities to run a group as you do for running a small business including Awareness, Discovery, Interest, Intent and finally Engagement.

So, let's talk about how I have started a church youth group in my small county.

I have divided the whole process into few sections:

1# Find a leader:

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I spoke to pastor and asked him if this would be a good idea to start a youth group. He agreed and introduced me to a few young lads and girls who are quite regular in Sunday services.

This helped me to understand how young people react to new ideas nowadays, but also how many people might be interested in joining our group.

After speaking with them all, I decided to ask 2 of them to become the leader. I was lucky both of them agreed to lead the group. And we managed to set ground rules who own what responsibilities.

2# Come up with a schedule and set of activities:

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

People are busy. And I understand that.

Hence, in order to bring interest first we need making youngsters aware of what is going to happen in our youth group.

In order to spread the word and inform people we required a plan.

So we did a brainstorming session in the church and came up with a schedule with timeframes and dates for next 6 months.

Tip: Keep your sessions small, like 45 min or 60 minutes only.

Now we required some help with spreading the word around.

So we printed some leaflets and handed over to young people who used to come to the church on weekends.

We also had talks with parents of these young kids, as we wanted to make sure guardians also understand what we are trying to do, and we have full support from our beloved pastor.

3# Setup Tech Tools to reduce manual effort:

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

Now, as we had the initial flux coming in. We did set up our Group online with bylde.

Now you can always create your own website or use meetup. But setting up your own website will cost you around $1200, and then you will have to integrate all services like:

  1. Email Newsletter Capability
  2. Members management
  3. Event Management
  4. Attendance Management
  5. Member Permission Management
  6. Selling of tickets (if you have ticketed event)
  7. Subscription Management etc.

Again if you choose to go with meetup then you will end up paying $198 for 6 months. You can read this article showing how much meetup cost with description (sites like meetup).

But we had no liberty to spend that much money. So we needed a solution which does not cost us our eyes, also we could solve most of our problems listed above.

So we decide Bylde. It solves all of our problems. It cost only £12 annually, i.e., £1 per month, and it has a lovely iOS and android app too.

3.1) Set up a group

Just go to bylde.com and login with one of your social logins. Remember, Bylde does not allow registering with email address to reduce spam. It’s written on their website:

Currently, with this approach we have managed to reduce the spam by 68%.

So don’t feel intimidated by it as it's for our own safety. You can log in with your Gmail, Facebook or LinkedIn accounts.

So after login, go to the groups tab and click on the + sign on top right. This will walk you though the step-by-step process of creating your group.

Things are pretty straight forward from this point.

You will be taken to the next screen where you have to select your city. You can easily type name of your city and then choose it according to your country and region.

Once you select your city, you can move to the next screen.

Then you will be presented with a Tags screen where you can select some relevant tags for your group. For me, it was easy, I just searched for church and found few tags related to it.

After that, I had to decide on what should I name our group.

Just to make it super simple and easy to remember, I named it after our church, which is South London Church. So basically I named it “South London Church Youth Club”.

After that, you will need to describe a bit about your group. Just for this demo, I put in a Youth club for South London church.

Once you finish with describing your group. You will be presented with guidelines screens. You can read it though and proceed by agreeing to it and clinking the next button.

After that you will be presented with a terms and services screen.

Make sure you read it through and click the checkbox to agree and proceed.

Then you will see two pricing plans.

You can choose the one you prefer. For me, £12 annually was perfect. So I selected it.

Once selected you will reach to the Summary page where you can see which plan you are about to purchase and how much it will cost you annually.

After reviewing everything, you can click on Pay button.

This will present you with a pop-up where you can put your credit or debit card number to get your new group setup.

That's it! Your group is set up and live on bylde.

You can always update your group settings and image. But I leave that with you.

After all, you understand your group better than I do :)

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Start, Grow and Manage Your Communities https://www.bylde.com

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Bylde

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Start, Grow and Manage Your Communities https://www.bylde.com

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