Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Number hurdles

Yesterday, while chatting to a potential employer, the topic of youth group numbers arouse.

In my mind the numbers in a youth group face similar hurdles to those of a wider church congregation. You have to take leadership, pastoral car and facilities into account.

If you want to provide proper physical, emotional, relational and spiritual care for people you need to monitor numbers.

You need to have the proper number of leaders to cater to their needs. For a youth group it should be no more than 8-10:1. If you only have three leaders, you can grow effectivly to around 25-30.

You also need to consider how many your building can hold comfortably and effectively. If you can only have two spaces for appropriate small groups then you are restricted to around 20. If you start to feel cramped with 40 people in your meeting space, then the time to consider splitting is upon you.

But there are number hurdles prior to that point.

The first, and he one i discussed yesterday, is between 6 and a dozen.

With 6 kids you feel kinda small. You grow slowly and is quite intimate. If you're not catering to the needs of the kids that are there and the visitors who do chime in, then they won;t stick around.

With a dozen kids you need to start to expand leaders. You now have a number where, if one or two kids are away, you're program isn't thrown in the air. This gives you confidence in programming and allows you to plan further down the track securely.

The next step is around 25-30 kids. Now the number of kids will start to grow momentum. Numbers grow greater numbers. Now you can generate excitement by just being on each week. The leadership should now well and truly be team oriented, with defined roles and dedicated kids to support.

Then you hit the point where i would head to spilt to alternative times/venues... 40-50. Why? Well you split a group of 50, into two groups of around 20-25, then you take the positives from the above step and repeat.

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