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Letter to the Editor: Why teenagers need a youth group

The President and CEO of Lifeway Christian Resources, Thom Rainer, once said, "If you can't explain to a young person why you do what you do in your church, they will reject everything you do."

An effective youth group will explain the answers behind the essential questions about God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, the Cross, the Resurrection, the Church, the Great Commission and other essential matters of life.

During the teenage years, parents are replaced by teachers, coaches, other teenagers, college students, celebrities, athletes and a myriad of others as their primary role models. A vibrant youth group provides positive role models, even though not perfect, a youth pastor, a small group leader and dedicated volunteers of a local church can provide guidance and support that is beneficial to a teenager.

Teenagers feel a deep sense to belong. To many of them, where they belong is less important than that they belong. If we're honest, we all need a safe place to be accepted, valued, appreciated and loved. A caring youth group provides such a community where teenagers can ask honest questions, share genuine struggles, and deal with real problems.

Teenagers long to be part of something bigger than themselves. Sports, bands and clubs have capitalized on this longing for decades. If a youth group can effectively communicate and contextualize their greater purpose as a follower of Jesus Christ-to be loved by their Creator and carry out the Great Commission- lives will be changed.

Dennis Smith

Calvary Chapel Williams

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