Woah, hold it right there! All kids are welcome at my youth group! Remember the story of Jesus welcoming the little children (post on that one soon). Well, yes, but admit it: if you are a youth leader (I was for three years), then secretly, there are some kids that don’t belong in youth group under certain conditions…
The new recruit at a lock-in:
Lock-ins are great – for the kids you already know and trust. But at the prospect of pajamas and pillow fights and staying up all night, some kids might want to bring a friend along. These friends are usually not part of their own youth group – that’s why they’re visiting yours. They have no context for what sort of delicate social mores they will need to follow.
I had the uninitiated kids show up so many times. One kid injured himself running around in his socks. Another locked himself in the bathroom. Some kid walked around in circles all night with a toy chainsaw he had found (complete with chainsaw noises). Some creepy kid wanted me to add “-san” to his name…like he was a Japanese samurai or something. Or maybe just Yu-Gi-O. I showed him my master ninja moves and told him to pipe down. Great fun. Do they ever show up again? You know the answer to that. But they get to go home with great memories of that night they tormented some guy in some place all night.