On Monday night for our first youth group we officially run 6:30-7:45pm but often many of the youngsters arrive at 5:00pm and stay as late as they can get away with. It has been really difficult in the last few weeks to set up with youngsters running around and generally causing mayhem, or if I have had a meeting and they have arrived before I have then there are all kinds of risks.
This week we locked the doors to the church till 6:20pm. It certainly irritated some of the youngsters who arrived shortly after 5:00pm! But it did allow me to take my time getting everything out, making sure the sign-in desk was ready etc. Because we were prepared (and because we had a couple of extra people volunteering) it was a lot smoother an evening, we managed to spend more time doing activities with the difficult kids from the start, rather than starting with a crisis because we weren’t ready in time.
It isn’t ideal having to lock the doors to the church, and especially having to turn away youngsters, it goes against all my natural thoughts, but it certainly raises the quality of the time at club. What kind of similar things do you have to do?