A while back, The Center for Youth And Family Ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary conducted a study of 200 high school seniors. They asked them to rank the reasons they go to youth group. After 20 years of student and family ministry, I expected “friends” to be towards the top. I was wrong and surprised by their findings. Their study found that students connected with their youth workers more than with their friends at “youth group.”

These findings do confirm my long time conviction that when students come to our ministries, they are looking for caring, loving adults that will show them value and acceptance. As you read the study’s findings, read them looking for things you can learn and implement into your ministry.

The Question: Why do you go to youth group?

1. I like my youth pastor.
2. I learn about God there.
3. I feel comfortable there.
4. I can really worship God.
5. I have always gone.
6. I experience real fellowship.
7. I learn to serve.
8. It reinforces what I believe.
9. It helps me grow spiritually.
10. It feels like real community.
11. It’s fun.
12. I feel like I belong.
13. I like the youth pastor’s sermons.
14. I learn about the Bible.
15. It is safe to talk to peers about doubts and questions.
16. It is safe to talk about doubts and questions.
17. It is where my friends are.
18. Adults take time to really listen.
19. My parents encourage me to go.
20. It is an Escape from the world.