Rural Ministry Q&A: Starting from Scratch

Q: I am starting a Rural Youth group “from scratch” with just a couple kids. Where do I even 2013-02-20 08.41.58start?

A: I will first give the following disclaimer. 1. I do not have all the answers, nor do I claim to be. 2. I am not you, and you are not me. 3. Your church’s culture and setting might be a lot different than mine. 4. I am not a church consultant, nor do I play one on TV…

Now that that that is out of the way, we can move on.

I have discussions like this often with small churches that want to reach the teenagers and children in their community. They often have a few solid kids to build around. I have been there, I understand. In 2001, I started a youth group with two middle school brothers in a church of about 30 people in Southern Illinois.

If I were doing the same thing today, Here are a few resources I would want to have on hand:

1) Either The original Gospel Journey Curriculum or Life in 6 Words from Dare2Share

2) A couple of “Throw and Tell Balls” from Group – You can get them here: Ball & Games Bundle

3) Access to for Worship and Small Group Resources

4) The $5 Youth Ministry by Todd Outcalt

Honorable Mention:

5) The Story: Teen Curriculum by Michael Novelli

There is so much more that could be said here, but this is just a start.

The point is this:

Build strong foundations under the students you have. Prepare them to reach out to more students, then evangelize.  Grow the new students. Lather, Rinse, Repeat...

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Brent Lacy

Youth Pastor. Web Designer. Homeschool Dad. Former Child Abuse Investigator. IT Technician. Writer. Lock-in Survivor. Rural Ministry Advocate. These all describe the experiences and stories that are part of Brent Lacy’s time in ministry. Brent grew up on 160 acres of corn, soybeans and cattle in Southern Illinois. He is currently a Rural Ministry Specialist with National Network of Youth Ministry (NNYM), based in Rockville, Indiana where he lives with his beautiful wife and three awesome kids in the Covered Bridge Capital of the World! His book "Rural Youth Ministry: Thrive Where You're Planted" is available at and on the Kindle Store.

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