How to Run a Weekly Youth Meeting, with Austin McCann

Lee Lethers Podcast

Within the first two minutes of visiting your youth group, a student will determine whether or not they will have a good time. We know it isn’t easy to keep students engaged week after week. Today, we are joined by Austin McCann. Austin is the Student Pastor at Redemption Chapel in Stowe, OH and puts together two great youth meetings every week at his church. In this episode, we will talk through the planning process with simple ideas of how you can make your weekly youth meeting a great experience for your students!


Takeaways from this episode:

Before the service

  1. Create the right atmosphere
  2. The room or area the students walk into needs to be welcoming and comfortable
  • Music playing/ playlists (filtered secular music to reach the unsaved)
  • Leaders on the lookout for new students
  • Things to do (games, sports)
  • Provide good hangout areas (couches, tables, chairs, ect)

Getting started with your youth service

  1. 5 minute countdown to gather students in
  2. High school – worship band ( 1 or 2 songs) (Middle school – open with a funny video)
  3. Announcements (live announcements and videos featuring students)
  4. Group game and mixers
  5. No dead spots – have music in the background
  6. Worship – band comes back up


  1. Spend the summer months praying and brainstorming about what you want to teach in the coming school year
  2. Have a good balance between topical and expository messages
  3. Teach the same thing to high school and middle school to allow for more time to write one good message
  4. Keep a file of ideas and topics to save time when planning your message
  5. Scripture and main points on the screen when teaching
  6. Simple hand-outs for students to fill in the main points
  7. Small groups during the week
  8. Prayer and dismissal
  9. Don’t rush out and neglect time with students – make yourself available


Connect with Austin:







WOL curriculum:

LCM Instagram:

Redemption Chapel:

Andy Stanley’s “Deep and Wide”: