Are you ready for another ministry year? Chances are, you’re preparing for that first kick-off event of the year (or maybe you’ve already done it). As you putting on the finishing touches, a few reminders to make this kick-off an effective one:

  • Be mindful of the first impression. That first impression, especially for first-ever visitors, will leave a lingering memory (positive or negative) with your students (and their parents). This isn’t just the meeting room itself; it starts the moment they pull into the parking lot and walk into the building. Whether it’s with greeters, welcoming signs, music, or other elements, make the  atmosphere welcoming.
  • The atmosphere should reflect your ministry. Your kick-off event doesn’t have to be over the top. Let it showcase what the ministry context is and what students can expect.
  • Ensure every guest is greeted. Between you, your youth leaders, and senior students (or student leaders), make it a priority to ensure every guest is greeted. This is more than saying hi; it’s having some kind of conversation. It doesn’t have to be profoundly deep; let the guests share what’s meaningful to them. (Not sure where to start? Try these conversation starters:
  • Follow up. Within a day or two after your kick-off event, ensure each guest receives a thank you from someone on the team and some kind of follow-up thought/question. The bigger key is to reach out again if the person doesn’t return. We suggest reaching out after the 1st time they didn’t show up and again after the 3rd time. Keep the follow-up messages lighthearted (remember, you’re not stalking them), but  let them know they were missed.

What other tips would you offer in preparing for the first kick-off event?