When a young person comes to youth group, they may come for any number of reasons; it may be their parents' wishes that they attend or they may be completely motivated by their own virtue. They may come to spend time with friends, meet a mentor, or find people with similar interests. It could be any combination of these factors!
Whatever their reason for showing up is, keeping them engaged can be a challenge. The best way to ensure kids will want to be involved is to make it a fun and enriching experience that they will look forward to every week.
Here are some tips on keeping youth group attendees involved.
How can anyone show up if they don't know about the event? The problem may not be the motivation to be involved but rather the communication of said events.
Whether the event will be running during the allotted group time or will be done outside of regular scheduling, passing the information along is crucial.
You can send out reminder e-mails. You can make sure to update your website regularly.
By far the quickest and easiest way to communicate events is through mass text alerts. They are the most convenient way to keep everyone informed without being a major inconvenience to you.
Keeping everybody in the loop is one of the most important factors in attendance numbers.
Get your students thinking about the group! Again, text alerts are a great, flexible way to communicate with young people. You can send good old-fashioned encouragement or send out daily reminders about what is going on with the group.
The more they are thinking about the group, the more inclined they will be to engage in it.
Additionally, regular interaction with your students is a great way to build relationships with them. Not only is this good for their personal development, but it can help to push the conversations in group by building trust.
Having strong, trust-based conversations within the group will be a great motivator for your students to stay engaged.
Build up the group! You can ask your students to bring friends or reach out to people that they would like to share the experience with. Show them the ropes and try to find a place where they feel comfortable.
Don't be afraid to ask some questions and really get to know them!
Ensure that your visitors have a good time and try to keep in touch with them afterwards. You can ask them to subscribe to your alerts and send them updates and encouragement, like you do with the rest of the group.
Realize that you cannot do it all on your own. You can give out tasks to key people working in the youth group. Giving everyone their own task to do will both ensure that everything actually gets done and that it gets done well. You can assign titles to different jobs to make everything feel more official and professional.
You can even delegate some of these tasks to the students themselves, which can help foster a sense of community.
Delegation is a pivotal part of a successful team. If you want the youth group to be successful, you need it to run smoothly and efficiently. They best way to do this is to let others take some of the planning and execution off of your plate.
Don't try to do a big, spectacular event extravaganza. While it might be fun, it will not help students grow to engage better in youth group. Instead, make small changes that will make the consistent experience more fun or enriching.
Try to cater to the interests of your students. They are unique individuals and love to be treated as such.
Give them a chance to participate in music, speaking, or the arts. If they have broadcasted an interest and talent in an area, offer them a task in the group that will make it fun for them.
For example, if you have a student who has expressed an interest in playing bass guitar, invite them to join the youth group band and ask them to play a few songs before starting.
If a student is interested in public speaking, ask if they would like to write something and speak before you. If they are interested in the arts, ask if they would like to learn how to control the lighting for the stage or connect them with someone else in the group that loves the arts.
There is a job for everyone in the group. Assigning roles for each of them is a great way to make them feel important to the functionality and to get them engaged.
Make coming to youth group worth their while. The lack of engagement may just be because they feel under-stimulated or bored. When you are thinking about events, try to give them purpose.
Instead of renting a blow-up castle (which is SUPER fun, no argument there), try an event where you reach out to others instead. Give your students the opportunity to feel like they are making a difference.
The same idea applies to regular group meetings as well, which is why it is so important to foster a relationship with your students. When they come to youth group, they want to feel like they are getting something out of it. They want to learn something, to make friends, and to feel safe. They want to show up and feel like engaging is time well-spent.
The best thing you can do for your youth group is create an environment of respect for one another. If you respect their individuality and time by providing them with an experience that feels worthwhile, and they will respect you by engaging thoughtfully and purposefully.
The second best thing you can do for your events is to keep everyone updated efficiently.
Motivation is half the battle; information is the other half.
Sending out text alerts is a perfect way to spread information through a youth group.
Using Mobile Text Alerts, you can send out mass alerts with ease. Make sure that everyone knows when, where, and why they are showing up and you are sure to get your students more engaged.
OK, we all know that kids (and adults for that matter) love games.
While kids need to learn that life's not all about being entertained, it's still OK to make things fun!
Plan activities that the young men and women in your youth group will actually enjoy.
Need some ideas? These sites have lots of options to take a look at: