Come on, do it! Just give in and have an affair!
I know, a very, very bold statement to make and I know you are interested in reading the rest of this article. But, I have to tell you, the title, and that statement have nothing to do with what this article is about…well kinda. But it did get you to read it so I guess it worked. For too many of us, that is exactly what we do in our youth ministries. We are experts at false advertising, but that is all it is—false.
How many times have you promoted an event or persuaded a student to come to youth group and you totally stretched the truth? We do it all the time! We know we need to promote and push what we are doing hard to get students to come so we claim _________, ___________, and ___________. Maybe it’s, “this is the best event that has ever happened” or “It will be the most fun you will ever have” or “it’s the most welcoming, loving, chill place.” But in reality it is a lie. It’s the same as the title of this article: only there to get you to read it and completely false advertising.
Too often our claims do not match our environment at all and we are only making our group, our church, ourselves, and God look really lame.
So, what needs to change? Should we not promote our events? Should we not be excited about what we are doing? No, we totally should promote them and we definitely need to be excited about it, so, what should we do differently?
We must create an environment in our ministries that matches our claims.
As leaders in the church, we represent something way bigger than ourselves and that means we must do our absolute best to put together something that is adequate to what we represent. Here are a few areas that many youth workers need to improve in order to accurately advertise.
Every event ever thrown in youth ministry claims to be the most fun anyone will ever have. But stop and ask yourself, is that really true? We need to take a moment, step back, and improve our fun! Ask yourself…
-Is the event creative?
-Is the event well planned?
-Are the staff and leaders bought in?
-Will it be executed smoothly?
I don’t doubt that every youth ministry strives to be a welcoming place, and many claim that they are. But, does the actual environment of your ministry match that claim? I have seen far too many youth ministries that are the most closed off, cliquish, and unwelcoming places around when the vision statement on their wall says the exact opposite.
Create an authentic environment where students feel welcomed, loved, and accepted no matter what. When that environment is created students are able to connect with each other, leaders, and the Lord.
3. Life Changing
We may claim anything about an event to get students there, and getting them there is awesome. but why are you getting them there? Is your motivation simply to be able to turn in higher attendance numbers to your supervisor? Or, are you giving substance that connects students to Jesus? At the end of the day, this is really all that matters. We can throw the perfect event that really is the most fun students have ever had. We can create a place where students feel connected and want to hang out, but if we fail to point them to a life changing relationship with Jesus, none of it matters.
In youth ministry we are experts at false advertising, but we do not need to be. You can throw amazing, fun, life changing events, and that is exactly what we want for you! So, ask yourself a few questions before your event and elevate your events to match your claims. If you need help with programing, events, promotion, admin, speaking, or anything else, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we would love to help coach you!
Todd has been in youth ministry for over a decade and has a passion for reaching lost students and training youth workers to do the same. He is the founder of Stoked On Youth Ministry, a speaker, author, and pastor. When Todd is not writing or speaking he enjoys surfing, baseball and most importantly hanging out with his awesome wife and three beautiful daughters. You can connect with Todd on Twitter @TheTodd_Jones, Instagram @Todd_Jones or for speaking inquiries visit TheToddJones.com