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In this edition:
How to Grow your Youth Group

Numbers are tricky, and sometimes tough. Sometimes the pastor or parents want to know "how many youth are attending?" It can be hard to quantify, especially if you have different areas of programming.
 
We all want to grow our youth group. It's part of our calling – to share the good news of Jesus Christ!
But we've also seen the statistic that only 8% of youth in today's culture are devoted to their faith. Our culture doesn't value faith and religion like it once did. Youth have more choices about how to spend their time. Growing a youth group is getting harder!
 
To effectively grow a ministry, we need to focus on Jesus' example of mountaintop experiences. Jesus preached the Beatitudes on the mountain, he was transfigured on the mountain, and he went to the mountain to pray. Those were transformative experiences that shaped Jesus' ministry. But the majority of Jesus' ministry happened in the valley. People live in the valley, and they occasionally visit the mountain. Jesus did most of his ministry in the valley, in the presence of people, near their homes.
 
Every week, we plan youth group, Sunday school, and other weekly youth events. Those are valley experiences, because those are our "home" ministry experiences.
 
And, usually in the summer, we plan a mission trip or camp. We look forward to that experience all year. It is our mountaintop experience!
Do you know?
Churches that partner with Youth Ministry Institute see their youth groups DOUBLE in size, on average, during the tenure of their YMI-trained youth minister. The actual statistic is 109% growth!
Most youth ministers accentuate the mountaintop experiences, because they only happen once a year. It's exciting! Join us! Travel with us!
 
Jesus' example is to use the mountaintop experience to shape the ministry that we do every week – ministry at home.
 
On your next mountaintop experience, ask your youth to help plan the evening devotions. Ask them to help plan the menu. Ask them to help plan your group outing or activity on the free afternoon.
 
Then, ask them to keep doing it as part of a youth leadership team that meets all year. They'll get excited about their youth group. They'll be more devoted. They'll claim ownership. They'll bring their friends. It will take time, but your youth group will grow!

Need more ideas? Check out our Executive Director's blog post on how to nurture different-sized youth groups, from 10 to 90 youth.
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Late Enrollment Deadline – Oct. 27

You can still partner with YMI! Try it out at our next retreat, even if you don't have full approval yet from your personnel (or SPR) committee. YMI can make your job better.

Five youth ministers joined us for two days of instruction in September. Our next monthly retreat is October 27-28 in KC.

We'll also travel to four national conferences, invite Ministry Architects to each church, and meet monthly with individual coaches.
YMI at NYWC in Atlanta – Look for Us!
The Youth Ministry Institute will bring over 20 students, coaches, and faculty to the National Youth Workers' Convention in Atlanta in November! Look for us and introduce yourself if you see one of our name tags!
The Mission of Youth Ministry Institute:
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Here's another post about the mountain scriptures and Jesus.