I’m from Malaysia and I currently attend a Baptist Church here since 2002, was an anglican before that. Most of the people whom attend our youth group are from different denominations and churches, some, like me, have started attending the church services here as well and some still go to their own churches.
I believe that the only thing that attracted people to come is GOD Himself. Young people, especially, are getting tired of activities. Bible studies and fellowship are good, but we want something more than that. What we do here is that each time we meet we’ll have Praise and Worship, sermon and altar call. It has never been altered because everyone wanted it that way, because God has visited us and many lives have been changed, hurting hearts healed, and the hungry satisfied. We believe that each time we come together to worship God, He is there and is ready to minister, and we give Him the free will to move. It’s just awesome to see how God touches His children–holy laughter, weeping, trembling, deliverance, slained in the Spirit(every week), and at occassional times some funny ‘shows’ such as dancing in the Spirit (when that person has no idea how to dance), doing somersaults, etc.Angels seen and heard, sometimes even the lord Himself appeared. That is what I believe young people want–the real thing.
Yes, we do have other activities as well, but on different times. We have leadership training (Million leaders Mandate by john Maxwell) every week, music sessions, bible studies, parties, etc., but we always make room for saturday nights. God has put in our hearts to burden to pray and intercede. Every saturday morning we will get up at an unearthly hour at 6 am to pray in Church, and every saturday evening an hour before youth meetings. This is to pave the way for God to move. To us, prayer meetings are just like any worship sessions–music played either on vcd players or guitars, and we pray out whenever God gives us a word. Very often God does wonders even then.
We do not believe that activities alone can draw people. If God is present in a meeting, everything comes together with Him. People feel accepted and welcomed and they will come again even though there are no special activities. Even during our annual camps we spend a lot of time worshipping God, very little games so as not to get too tired to worship. But amazingly, people loved it. We feel as if we have not done much, but yet lives were touched.
I guess we have come to a point where activities alone will not draw young people anymore. they are not bad, in fact many of these activities are important, but there must be something more than this. Young people are hungry for something deeper, something which can satisfy their hunger. It is possible to have young people sitting at the feet of a preacher and worshipping God during school holidays when most young people are out partying.
Just my opinions though