Rule #2 for Apostolic Youth Groups: Make sure the name mentioned in rule #1 is awesome
Basically it all starts out with usually a new youth pastor. And the new youth pastor is looking at kind of a fixer-upper in the youth group. They are bored of the monotony of adult church, and repulsed by the immaturity of Children's ministry (it's not all about having fun anymore).
So the youth pastor sits in his office drawing on his white board a big circle with the words "Youth Group" written very largely within this circle. There is also a possibility of a giant question mark pointing to the "Youth Group." It probably looks like this:
Of course we should be making the connection that the Circle wherein "Youth Group" is written is used to signify the actual youth group. The question mark pointing inside the circle is supposed to inform us that there is confusion about this youth group, but behind this confusion there is an answer to solve the madness....
So the youth pastor ponders.....and ponders.... and thinks deeply....and then day dreams of having a church of 500 people....and then ponders some more, when finally the aha moment hits and the light bulb goes off!
The problem with the teenagers in the youth group is they want an identity of their own. They don't want to be treated like kids but they don't want to be as boring as their parents....That's it! They needed an identity. And what better to give the youth group an identity than to give them a youth group name?!?!?
And here is where the dichotomy occurs:
The Relevant: The youth pastors who aspire to be relevant take a very action oriented approach to naming their youth group.
- In the early 2000's, to be relevant meant to be different. It meant to be out of the box. It meant that the best identity for a youth group was to be sooo out there it was not only relevant to the crazy kids at high school, but it was just downright radical. The youth group would be so radical in identity that the radical kids couldn't help themselves but to check out the ridiculousness of the awesomeness of how out of the box the youth group was. Dare I say that these youth group names inferred that their radicalism was so insane that could never predict what they were going to do....which even included the possibility that they would Xtremely kick your butt. It was with this in mind that youth group names often were "Xtreme." And if they were not Xtreme, they ought to have an X somewhere in their name: "The X-zone,"eXplosion" "Xcellerate" were all permissible names to a youth group back then.
- In the middle part of the decade, youth groups began to realize that the groups were just way too Xtreme and they needed to take a breath from the radicalness of using the letter X in the youth group name (which had never been done before). So the trend then grew to name the youth group out of an action or movement. Thus popular names became: Fusion, ReAction, the Revolution, Rush, Impact, Dynamite, Driven, Bridge...Basically the radicalness was taken out but the message was still clear: "We're here to mess some devil up and we'll be changing spiritually during this exciting time in our lives."
- Now adays, things are just a grab bag of all of the above but also with a little less fear behind them...Teens like starbucks and starbucks is far from Xtreme or radical. So now some names are more myserious and also in a way slightly more biblical: "The community" or "Called" or "the gathering."