The first year we separated our Confirmation program from the regular high school ministry program numbers plummeted. Teenagers no longer had to come, so they didn’t. Now we had to figure out how to advertise that they GET TO COME.
You’ve tried large events like lock-ins and ski trips. You put a lot of effort, hoping that it creates a buzz and it might. But, if you want healthy growth you need to know how to advertise the the importance and value your youth ministry will have in their life. That means building a communication strategy. To get the word out that your youth ministry is more than pizza you need to:
- Clarify Growth: Believe it or not your teens might not know it’s okay to invite friends. They might see the ministry as an exclusive club. Change that mindset because they know more teenagers than you do. They know who needs Christ in their community. Encourage them to invest in others and then invite them to your ministry. Help them understand that a healthy youth ministry needs to grow.
- Be Present In The Community: You cannot be a million places at once. That’s why you need to encourage your volunteers to help you with this task. Attend games, plays or events together. Get to know the parents of your teens as much as them. Connect with schools or other groups. Build Christ like relationships in the community so that people know that the church cares. People will appreciate your investment in them and in turn advocate and advertise for you.
- Preach It From The Pulpit: While you might be reaching people in the community you also may need to reach teens in the pews. Ask your pastor to help you out. Have him preach the importance of youth ministry from the pulpit. Advertise what you do during announcements. His voice and platform will have influence and impact that will go far.
- Live What You Preach: If you are going to say that your youth ministry is about going deeper you are going to have to provide opportunities for it to go deeper. That means taking time away from the goofy to focus in on Christ. Build your youth ministry around Christ focused relationships. Share the Gospel on a consistent basis and challenge teens to grow. When they see the purpose of your youth ministry they’ll be more confident in bringing their peers.
To advertise your youth ministry takes intentional planning. Take time to analyze your outlets and make the invitation a consistent part of your culture. Once you get the ball rolling, you’ll see a buzz emerge.
How do you advertise your ministry?