Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Triple Your Youth Ministry In One Year Part 4

If we are going to talk about tripling your youth ministry then we have to talk about momentum.

Momentum is something that is continually built upon with each smaller success. To be honest this has to be set in motion before the year ever starts.

I like to think of momentum almost like a train taking off. Did you know you can stop a train from starting with only a wooden block? Because of the sheer weight involved, a train starts slowly and uses a tremendous about of energy to get going. But once it's momentum is going it takes less energy to keep it going.

The same is true with youth ministry. You have to begin to establish momentum that will catapult you to reaching more teens.

Two ways we did that was through SERIES and BIG DAYS.

Do Your Teaching In Series
We saw a lot of success by teaching in series. With our series we would center them around one main point and build that point each week. Not only was our teaching a lot better but it created a great hook for teens to reach out to their friends.

If we were starting a new series in February this is how the process would look like as we went through it. I'll take you through our Elev8flix series promotional. Click on the links throughout for the pictures.
  • Two weeks out finish promotional graphics, power point teaser graphic, business card size handouts, and video trailers. We would begin with announcing the new series in our youth meetings and encourage our teens to invite their friends.
  • One week out we would give out business card size handouts that would promote the series. This size is an easy convenient way for teens to pass out at their school. Click [here] for an example. We encouraged our teens to use every method of technology to invite their friends: txt, myspace, facebook, handouts, youtube videos, email, etc...
  • Weekend before we would decorate our youth room to coincide with the series. With Elev8flix we made two giant size popcorn boxes with white and yellow balloons as the popcorn and then put up reels on the wall. View [here], [here], [here], and [here]. I wanted to do a red carpet down the isles but that wasn't in my budget. Really your imagination is your only limit.
  • 3 days out we send text messages, emails and leave graphic invites on our teens myspace comments.
  • The first week of a series is really an intro and doesn't get to the meat so those who come usually come back to hear more.
Host A Big Day Every Quarter
Another thing that really built up our momentum was utilizing big days. We would do a back-to-school blast and a schools-out blast. To tag on these big events we would launch a series. This proved for some to continue to return to hear more. We would utilize all of the above promotion but the day of the event would be a little different.
  • One hour before meeting time we would open up our parking lot with inflatables and basketball goals for teens to hang out and have fun. We would also have extra video games on hand for teens to play. If your youth ministry already has a game room go even extra with some new stuff. [Here], [here], and [here] for pictures.
  • We would then have our normal youth meeting that would end 15 minutes early that would culminate in a school versus school competition. Ideas for this: hamburger or hot dog eating contest. Highest school weight. We like school versus school because it is a great reason for teens to reach into their schools. At one event we had 12 different schools represented.
  • The after event would be a concert with a band.
Now before you think these were just about kicking up our number average you have to realize that at every youth meeting we had a call to salvation. These were events that teens would really go all out to invite their friends. You also can't do these events unless you have a great plan and team in place. You also have to read this full series to get an idea of how all of these worked in conjunction of each other.

Big key here is don't think you have to go all out. Start small. If you aren't used to teaching in series, plan maybe 4 or 5 for this year. Add one big day to coincide with one of the series and use some of the ideas in marketing your event. As you get comfortable do more. There really are no tried and true rules. Just Go For It!!!

Make sure you check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this series.


Adam said...

I loved the idea of the big event and school vs. school! I have used the excuse before that I can't pull of an event because of lack of money. But, with a school vs. school event the students are the main pull so their school can represent and WIN!!!

I have been loving this series, and I have been checking out your videos on youtube. Thank you so much!

Jason Curlee said...

Just adding a school vs. school event is such a huge thing. It already plays into the natural school rivalry. And teens naturally love competition. As long as you remind them of the ultimate goal so as to keep it healthy.

Thanks for the props Adam.