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When You Don't Have a Youth Pastor

Can a small church have a successful youth program? When the same few young people look at each other each week in Sunday school, can they possibly match the dynamic quality of eighty or a hundred?

I learned a valuable lesson a few years ago from a small Baptist church in San Bruno, California. The youth sponsor was a high school math teacher named Clell. He and his students traveled forty miles to meet with me about a special one-week outreach. They asked me to come speak and bring a seven-member musical group.

When we arrived some months later, I was amazed. About fifteen young people, unified in purpose and direction, had invited their friends. The first night we sang and spoke to about thirty young people; the second night, about fifty came for a night of games. On Thursday night more than a hundred young people came to the church for an all-night volleyball marathon, and a local TV station covered the event.

At the end of each evening, the music group sang and gave testimonies and I ...

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