So could a youth group actively participate in planting a church? Yes! Of course! Does it happen very often? Not that I’m aware of. But I can't think of any reasons why that's the case.
There is a healthy trend that continues to expand in which congregations realize the urgency of parenting church plants. I suspect that many who read this blog know this first-hand, based on the parenting efforts of their own congregation. What I don’t hear often is a strategic inclusion of youth in the parenting/planting process.
There certainly are examples of youth group involvement in church plants. Young Church (Now Grace Church) in Mt. Pleasant was basically started by a youth group. Willow Creek was started by a youth singing group.
I’d like to suggest some opportunities for youth groups to actively participate in your congregation’s church plant (or in a church plant that’s not parented by your congregation):
- Include the youth group in informational updates on the plant.
- Offer youth the opportunity to get involved in the planning process for the new church and the worship services.
- Ask youth to assist with outreach to unchurched youth in the area around the church plant.
- Let the youth group help with any physical projects to ready a facility for the new church.
- Use any gifts within the youth group at some of the plant worship services (singing, praise band, sound, set-up).
- Urge regular and constant prayer from the youth group
- Ask them how they would like to help.
Our youth are more dialed in to our community than most of us are. I really can’t imagine better colleagues in ministry as we look to plant churches. What do you think about a youth group helping to plant a church?