I was invited to be on a question and answer panel at another local church's youth group gathering this week. I was honored they would ask me. Why me? I have no idea but I accepted.
Students wrote their questions on 3x5 cards and the panel answered their questions.
Of course upon arrival I kicked into evaluation mode. I was watching for a few different things. Mostly looking for students' interaction with each other and the adult volunteers interaction with the kids.
I noticed several different things throughout the evening that I took mental note of. The youth group had a great bunch of students there and all were high schoolers with only a couple of middle school students.
With so many students in attendance I observed several things but will point out three:
1. The students are bringing their friends (obvious by the amount of visitors)
2. Momentum. The excitement of the obvious growth is generating a momentum which is building each week. (obvious by the amount of chairs that had to be added)
3. Small space. The space isn't big enough for the amount of students. The feeling was the room was "full" when half the kids arrived. When they other half poured in at the last minute the room felt jam packed. This too adds to the momentum.
When people see a growing youth group they always want to know "what's the magical formula?"
The obvious key factor with this group was the kids bringing their friends.