The dust has settled, by this time in a normal week I’m well into the next message, next project. Monday is the time to reflect on what went wrong, what went right, Tuesday means it’s time to move forward. This past weekend was our opening weekend where we put all of our programs and ministries on display. It’s a time to meet new faces and encourage people to take that next step in their faith journey.
For student ministry this is an important day because we are going to come into contact with a lot of students who reluctantly go to church with their parents and never step foot in a small group, ministry or our weekly worship. Opening weekend is an important tool for us to reach out, and I’ve found as youth ministers it’s important that we are:
As available as possible. Many times we are stress about getting the ping pong table set-up, the food ordered, the lights just right when we forget that when students come they are looking for you. The worst place a youth minister can be on opening night is in a closet looking for that one battery he needs for a Nintendo Wii controller. It’s important to be out front because it sets a standard for the year; we come off overwhelmed and more interested in something besides the students. And the reason most students don’t come back to church is because they don’t feel a connection.
I know this is something we work on throughout the year, that’s one of the reasons we recruit ministers and volunteers; however, if there is one night where we need to be most present to mingle and intermix, it’s opening night. It might mean not setting up a game, getting all your volunteers there earlier than usual. It might mean doing one less thing so that you can do something more important, greet the students.