It’s not enough that you love your kids.
Students will leave your group if they don’t feel loved and accepted by other students. That’s not always easy to pull off. Some students are better at making friends than others. Some students are just harder to love because of various behaviors. Unless they find a friend or a way to fit in, they won’t last long in your group.
Here are quick ways to help them get connected.
Get love flowing in the group.
—Easier said than done. Some teens aren’t on board with caring about anyone outside their friendship circle. They can become aware of the need and learn some skills that can turn this around. You can also look at some ideas for helping turn your group from a group that rejects new students to a group that accepts them gladly!
- -teach on loving others –the book of John and 1 John have many verses touching on this
- -do games where teens get to feel what it is like to outside of the circle
- -do a small group series on including others
- -try case studies of students that were shunned by a group
- -have games and activities that require students to work together and speak with each other
- -have prayer times where students share needs
- -serve together –reaching out to others will help students feel closer to one another
- -have students do affirmation activities like the one where they write encouraging words about a student on a sheet taped to their back
- -have students write encouragement cards to each other -make sure no one is left out
- -leaders should connect students with similar interests outside of the youth group. –going to a movie together or doing an activity that they really enjoy will help students feel close without having to talk a lot.
These are just 10 quick ideas that I’ve seen work with a lot of different youth ministries. Try some out and let me know how they worked!
What are some that have worked for you?