In some churches, engaging youth in anything but pizza parties seems a daunting task.  Getting them into the core activities of the church is even harder.  But without the vitality of teenagers, churches get stale and die.

Russell Martin has written an approach to “engage youth in worship” that highlights this warning and suggests alternatives.  In a blog post on, he remembers when he was a teen, how his own youth pastor asked him to plan the worship services for weekly meetings and special events.  He calls it a turning point in his life.

To Russell, the secret to attracting youth to your church is to “give them ownership.”

They will likely come up with “different, but great ways” to introduce others to Jesus Christ.  “We should not underestimate the talents, abilities, and desires our youth have now and the things they can teach us about worship.”

More important, your youth” know other youth more than you do.”  Visitors “come with friends because someone knows someone.”

More than just training the next generation of church leaders, you are taking better advantage of the Gifts the Spirit has given your congregation.  And it gives opportunity to bring in new people to your congregation.

You just have to give them ownership and let them run with it, even if it’s not the way you’d do it.