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Had lunch with Dave Felts yesterday and got the grand tour of Hesperia, CA. By the way, if you're looking for a historic Old Town district to visit, skip Hesperia's.

We started talking about a shift that seems to have happened in high school ministry. It used to be you could do an event, announce how great it would be, and students would sign up. That no longer cuts it. One of the things we identified as part of the issue is one of the biggest things with students today is peer clusters. I think this has become bigger than cliques and bigger than just a social group. Students today identify VERY strongly with a particular group of students.

Here's the implication: I don't sign up 1 student at a time for a retreat; I sign up 5 students at a time for a retreat. It's very difficult to get one student to sign up for something. I need to get their entire cluster of friends signed up. It almost seems like it's all or nothing.

This obviously has big implications for things like evangelism and small groups. I may come back with a couple posts on those. Still processing...


  1. Anonymous Casey Angulo Says:

    Hey Mike, I have noticed this mob mentality too. It seems the problem is magnified in smaller youth groups. At Sandals I had to practically beg each kid to sign up for events and they always wanted to know who else was going. I have not noticed this at The Grove so much but it does exist there. I think it is important for students to realize that not coming on a trip could cause one of their friends who may actually need to go, not to go. If a student cares about their friends they should be a leader and sign up. A decision not to go on a trip is no longer just a personal decision it effects others decisions and possibly their salvation. Students must be reminded to take this into consideration before flippantly not signing up.
    -Casey Angulo