I Don't Fit In at Youth Group

I Don't Fit In at Youth Group

I love God, but not my youth group.
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Q. My youth group has several hundred teens, and I don't feel like I fit in. I feel like I get left out a lot. Our youth leader has talked to the group about including everyone, but then people just acted phony for a while, and that made me feel even worse. I've told my parents, but I'm not sure they understand what I'm feeling. I'm very much in love with God, but I really don't want to go to that church anymore. What can I do?

A. You aren't alone. Many students feel the same way. There are a lot of benefits to being involved with a large youth group. But feeling left out can be one of the drawbacks.

But whether you stay where you are or try another church, you'll be faced with the need to build friendships. It's not likely that you'll walk into a new church and immediately feel comfortable there.

That's why I'd suggest giving your situation more time. Don't think about changing churches right now. You may not feel close to anyone there, but there are people that you recognize and who recognize you. You also have the support of your parents, and it is valuable for your family to be able to worship together.

Meanwhile, ask your youth leader about getting involved with a small group. Many youth groups have a small group ministry. If you join a small group, you'll get to know a few people a lot better. It's amazing how one or two friendships can change the whole way we look at a group.

Perhaps you've already joined a small group, but it just isn't working for you. Then I would suggest you still stay committed to the same church, and join a Campus Life, Young Life, FCA or other Christian group at your high school.

One last option: If you're an older teen and you have your parents' permission, you could look for a new Christ-honoring church. But I'd only recommend this as a last resort—and only if you sense God is leading you to a new place.

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