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Growing closer to God

By McKenzi Swinehart, 16,
Calvary Community Assembly of God,
Las Vegas, Nevada


The youth group at my local Assemblies of God church has made a big difference in my life. The first time I came, I felt really welcomed, and I have enjoyed it ever since.

Having a group of Christian friends makes me feel like I am not alone. Every week we learn how to deal with emotions and issues that concern us as teen-agers. We share praise reports and prayer requests with friends, and then we encourage and pray for each other. I love the contemporary worship and my pastor's preaching and the time spent in our fellowship groups.

Going to youth group is more than just sitting in the pews. I get to be involved in reaching out to others, which helps me grow closer to God. When I first started coming, my youth pastor preached on obedience. I had always had a problem obeying my mom, but I never realized that my disobedience was a hindrance to growing closer to the Lord. Ever since I heard that sermon, it has been easier for me to obey my mom. That might sound like a small thing, but for me it was big, and my mom noticed the difference.

The teaching we get at youth group helps us focus on the right things. There are so many emotions and so much confusion in high school that we need wisdom on how to handle everything. My friends and I are constantly trying to grow closer to God.

Being in a youth group lets me know I am not alone. We are unified as a youth group and we support one another. I always invite people from my school to come, and I pray that they will be changed forever — like I was.


To win students to Christ, build them into disciples and then send them into the mission field to reach people.

How many

There are about 300,000 junior high and senior high students in the Assemblies of God, with approximately 2,500 full-time youth ministers.

Age range

12-18 years



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