I used to have that awkward encounter where I would run into a teen that had not shown up to our ministry for a while. You know that one that used to come every week and then stopped. You say, “Hey, how’s it going?” when you really want to ask them, “Why haven’t you been coming back?”
The reality is that each teen is facing obstacles, and temptations preventing them from coming back. While some of the reasons are out of your control, there are 6 action steps you can take to make sure more teens are coming back. They are:
MAKING SURE THEY KNOW THEY CAN COME BACK
The truth is some teens do not know they are welcomed back. They might think it’s one time deal. Make sure you invite teens to come back each week. Remind them of when you start and where to go when they return. Do not assume they know that.
TELLING THEM WHAT’S AHEAD
Sometimes teens want to know, “What should I expect?” If you are doing a message series give them a break down of what topics you’ll cover. Give them a teaser of an activity or game. Let them know why coming back is a good idea.
CONNECTING THEM WITH AN ADULT
One of top reasons teens are coming back is because they connect with someone. Connecting with their peers can be intimidating that’s why surround them with God loving adults. Having a friendly face there to greet them is a great way of communicating, “We’re excited you are here.”
FOLLOWING UP WITH THEM DURING THE WEEK
Collect their contact information so that you can:
- Shoot them a text
- Send an email
- Give them a call
Give them that reminder of when you all meet. Ask them about their week. Let them know you are praying for that big test.
Teens face a lot during their week. Connecting with them in the midst of a busy week will let them know you can’t wait to see them again.
ENCOURAGING THEIR FRIENDS TO BE ACCOUNTABLE
Do not put all the pressure on you. Challenge the students to remind one another to return. Let them know an important part of being a part of a faith community is holding each other accountable.
MAKING IT WORTH THEIR WHILE
Are you giving teens a good reason to come back? Or are you over promising and under delivering? Invest in your program and make sure you are going deep with students.
Create irresistible environments that allow them to check out of a crazy world and focus on their relationship with Christ. A quality experience is reason enough to come back.
Don’t just assume that teens will come if you open up the doors. They will come if you remind and invite them. Put effort into your invitation and invest in their experience. In the end you’ll not only see teens coming back, but bringing their friends as well.
What other actions do you take to create consistent attendance?