Case Studies

How a Grandmother Doubled the Size of her Youth Group in Just Two Months!

The next generation is mission critical for the Church.

That’s what many experts are saying, anyway. But in a time when social media has connected young people all over the world like never before, youth culture is changing from one generation to the next at alarming rates. It leaves many of us feeling like ministry among Generation Z is more cross-cultural than ministry overseas.

That’s why it was so surprising when one grandmother saw a dramatic move of God in her youth group!

Meet Merodee

Merodee is a  kindhearted woman who loves cooking a hot meal for her grandchildren. So when she was suddenly put in charge of the youth group at her small Canadian church in 2019, she was skeptical.

What could I have to offer people of a generation twice-removed from myself?

When she told a visiting missionary about her problem, he said, “If you love to gather your grandkids around a dinner table, why not just do that?” She decided to give it a shot. She would take a dwindling, unengaged handful of teenagers and sit them at a dinner table.

Before she knew it, that very same table would be swarmed with a crowd of youth who were making disciples in their school, engaging their communities to change the lives of the least fortunate, and impacting the nations for Jesus. Here’s how it happened...

How a few Canadian Teens Became a Force for Revival in their Town

  • First, Merodee decided to give the Waha app a try. It was suggested by the same missionary friend who gave her good advice in the first place so she figured, “Why not?” From the start, the kids thought it was cool because of Waha’s security mode...

It’s like we’re secret agents for Jesus!

  • It took some getting used to at first, because the youth were used to being lectured. No one ever asked them what they thought! But Merodee was patient and held her tongue, determined to trust the Holy Spirit to be the one who spoke.
  • Eventually, the teens began to engage with the questions in the app. They were particularly impacted by the question that asks, “What do you need to do in order for things in your community to be better?” According to Merodee, this helped them to shake off a victim mentality and come up with solutions from the Holy Spirit on their own.

They became prayerful, power-filled, problem solvers!

  • Soon the youth were sharing the app with friends at school. They weren’t sure if there were a lot of needy people in their affluent community, but they realized that there was plenty of spiritual need!
  • One young woman in their school lived in difficult circumstances, constantly in and out of homelessness. But the students from Merodee’s youth group reached out to her. Slowly but surely, after using Waha to discover God’s love for the first time, she began to radically change. Her grades even turned around so much that the school called Merodee and asked what in the world she was doing because they had never seen any kid in a similar situation actually make it through high school without dropping out!
  • Merodee’s youth group were seeing the lives of their friends transformed as they shared the simple truths they were learning from scripture with their classmates. But they didn’t stop there. Determined to find needy people in their town who needed a touch from God, they began reaching out to local authorities asking how they could serve. Merodee found herself having to tell the once apathetic youth to slow down and make sure they had permission from their parents to borrow all the craft supplies they were using for a service project in a local retirement home!
  • Finally, the youth even began to impact the nations. Remember the young woman dealing with homelessness from earlier? She was able to share with a Buddhist student who came from an immigrant family, and now he and his parents are beginning to engage with their church. Merodee’s church is even planning to start Waha groups at their local library among Hindi-speakers, because of all the immigrants in their community!
  • In the end, Merodee began with only about 3 or 4 kids in the youth group and within a couple months it had grown to over 20 regular attendees and multiplied into a second group. This isn’t counting the groups that her youth are starting in their schools!

How it worked

As we suggest in our Disciple Making Course, things like this only happen because God blows the wind of His Holy Spirit. But there are a few things we can do to put our sails up and catch that wind when it’s blowing. One of those things is to take a simple discovery approach.

When we choose to ask open-ended questions of the people we are reaching out to, we give them an opportunity to engage with God themselves. As it says in John 6, God is the one who calls people to come to Jesus (v.45) and we can help facilitate that by introducing people to Him through scripture.

Another way we can see similar impact is by challenging people to obey what they see written in scripture. Merodee began with just a few kids who lived with a victim’s mentality. But when they were challenged to put what they read in scripture into practice, they rapidly became mature disciples of Jesus.

Finally, Merodee found that reproduction was essential in order to revitalize her youth group. The teenagers in her church didn’t just want to come to her house to be fed; they wanted to feed others! They took the simple, reproducible format of their youth meetings and reproduced it with others in their schools.


If you find yourself wondering what it might take to reach the youth in your community, we encourage you to put these simple, Biblical principles into practice. That’s why we created Waha. Waha makes it easy for anyone to read the Bible with those who don’t know Jesus and ask them simple, open-ended questions that will challenge them to put their learning into practice. It’s all packaged in an easy-to-use app that makes it so easy anyone can reproduce it! To get started, download the app today!