As a kid, and still today, I love Christian Music. I love seeing the bands play, hearing about songs, and discovering new music. I remember as a kid, I moshed it up with whatever band possible and worked my way to the front to touch the hands of Skillet, TFK, or ABR (I havent washed my hands since- is that gross?). I remember always coming away with wanting more music, or a new band to check out.
As a future Youth Pastor, I want my students to be sponges. I want them to dive into the bands, hear a powerful message through songs, and leave wanting more. But sometimes, it doesnt work like that.
Youth are youth! They are lovers of activity(extra), food, and checking out the opposite sex. Which I totally get, I've been there, but how do plug them into wanting more? How do I give them the desire to go out discovering new bands or using the festival for what its really intended for, rather than stuffing your face with cheese curds (which actually sounds delicious)?
My completely under qualified attempt at the answer: Dont take a large group.
We here have the luxury of having a lot of Festivals within 40 minutes. Most of these festivals are multiday trips. My thought is on these festivals is promote it in your youth group, maybe even buy group rate tickets, but dont go as a group. Then you as a leader/pastor open it up to take a car full of students who really want to see the bands. Have them know that your intent is, which is to be with them and explore the music together. This way you are connecting, having them hear the concerts/messages, and seeing how you worship.
Maybe you even take a new group each day of the festival. But all in all, I think its way more beneficial of your yearly stress-o-meter and time to take a small group.
Tips for those taking large groups:
- Take more than 1 leader per 10 students- trust me, you're going to want them
- Have meet up times with the youth
- Bring a chair
- Hydrate them
- Meet at concerts
- Have them see you rocking out the way you actually do