I grew up in a youth group. There were just a few of us, but numbers are not what made us a youth group. It was our attitudes. We did not really want to let anyone else in. We liked our friendships and definitely lived by the "Us four and no more" philosophy. We never spoke about sharing the Gospel or ministering to others. This was because the purpose of the group, we felt, was to entertain us, meet our needs, and give us a place to huddle so we could keep away from the bad sinners. To add on to things, we never talked about the sin in our lives but only pointed out how bad everyone else was. This was not a good mindset, but I know we were not completely to blame because those whom were leading us helped us play into this mindset.
I now feel that I am part of a youth ministry. It's a place where we invite others in and let them know they are welcomed and loved. We are about doing business with God, being open an honest about our sin, and then dealing with that sin. We make sure that Gospel is at the forefront of what we do. We are not about hanging out like a social club but about training and empowering students to go out on mission in their homes, schools, communities, and the world. We understand that we are not perfect and never claim to be. But we strive for that perfection by daily trying to live a life that honors God and love others. Have our students mastered this concept yet? Not at all. But you can tell that they desire to and are deeply want to be more like Jesus.
I hope I always remain part of the latter category and I hope you do as well. Because we do not need any more groups, we need ministries that are empowering and equipping students to go out and reach the world around them. Step back and look at where you currently serve. Are you a group or a ministry?