Events are part of youth ministry. Your Wednesday night or Sunday night (or whenever weekly meeting) is an event. The retreats you do, camps you coordinate and conferences/concerts you take your teenagers to are events.
And there's nothing necessarily wrong with events. But, if these events aren't triggering movement toward spiritual growth in the hearts of our teenagers then we may need to do some re-thinking, re-imagining and re-tooling.
Here are a few questions to consider when leading/doing/attending events with and for your teenagers:
1). Will this event inspire my teens to serve Jesus more passionately?
I have a youth pastor friend named Mr. Bill who has a simple grid for any and every youth group event: "Will this help my teenagers know Jesus and make him known?" If not, then it's off his grid and off the youth group calendar.
Don't get me wrong. Mr. Bill and his youth group have fun, play games, do events and reek all sorts of typical-youth-ministry havoc. But, behind it all, there is a deeper purpose. And he drives everything about the event toward his teens knowing Jesus more deeply and making him known more widely.
He calls the unbelievers to believe and challenges the believers to fall in love with Jesus and tell others about him. It's woven into the fabric of each one of his events.