- Develop a social media plan. Communicate and communicate often across all platforms. Hootsuite, Onlypult, Buffer. These are some tools you can use to develop a social media plan. Schedule posts ahead of time so if you have a busy season of ministry stuff is still getting out there.
- A visitor follow up process. I suck at this quite frankly…ok, maybe that’s too harsh but I have dreams of WOWING students with how much we care that they showed up and show them how much we want them to come back. Currently we send a postcard…but I want a gift basket with their name on it and balloons attached to appear on their front porch (too much?)
- Get mom and dad on board. Introducing yourself to the parents is worth its weight in gold. When parents know who you are and who their kids are being influenced by, it is much more likely they will bring their kid back to youth group. If not you, rally your leaders to introduce themselves to mom or dad during drop off or pick up. Send a follow up email directly to the parents welcoming them to your church.
- Be willing to change your program time. I didn’t say change your program time…be willing. Wednesday night youth group is fading out. Only churches that have been doing this a long time may have a culture of it…is it most likely poised for reaching new kids? I’d argue the answer is no. Conducting surveys of families and most available times can help you offer the least competitive time for students to attend youth group in your area. My high school students gather on Sunday evenings from 4pm-6pm. There are no school conflicts and it allows them to be home earlier on a school night (which most parents are fond of). I share more about this idea in another post.
- Create a space for students to call their own. Students care about ownership, they like the club idea, a place to belong… a safe haven with cool vibes. Not everyone understands this nor do I expect it of them. My youth group operates in a shared space…a couple of shared spaces. I make it my aim to make this space appealing to students. There are probably a hundred ways to do this…even in a shared space. Creativity is king and sky is the limit. Start with that mentality and see where you end up, probably in a better place than you are now. I can give you a virtual tour and talk through our shared space and some practices we use every week, anyone interested? Stay tuned.
How have you made your youth group more accessible? What does your visitor follow up process look like? Let’s hear it!