It’s a good thing I’m married because I’ve totally lost my touch for breaking the ice. Yesterday was a day where I found myself with the margin between Sunday Mass to meet and greet the members and visitors of our church. When I say meet and greet I mean hover awkwardly around them, trying to figure out a way to break the ice. I felt like a bad stalker.
But it’s been something I’ve been working on these last few months, a goal of mine to be better at going up to people. Whether we like it or not, it doesn’t matter if you are good or bad at it, something we need to do as youth ministers is:
Work The Crowd
In particular there are three areas why this is important:
When we can work those areas we can grow our ministry. So how do you work the crowd?
1. Don’t assume they know you. Nothing is more of a turnoff than arrogance. It might seem unnecessary but introduce yourself and what you do.
2. Assume that they will want to talk to you. I know this is a little contradictory to the first point, but people want to know about your program. People want to know that you care about them and it isn’t because of who you are, but also is.
3. Make this the first of many. If you want to recruit a minister or get a teen to come it might happen on the first try, but it’s not likely. Build a relationship with them, make a mental note to look for them the following weekend or at the next event.
4. Be yourself. You’ll want to ask them questions to get to know them, but let them know things about you. It’s basic relationship 101.
5. Cast vision. It doesn’t have to be the exact phrase, but talk to them about why you do what you do and what you hope to accomplish. From a business standpoint, you’ll want to look at them as future investors.
I’m not sure when you find time to meet the people of your church, but you need to make time. I think the real reason we hold back from working the crowd is the fear of being rejected. But lets face it, it’s paramount. We need to inform parents about what we want to do for their teens. It’s important to invite teens and without ministers we’re left on our own. But here’s the thing we can’t be in survival mode and do this because we have to. We need to be aggressive, that’s why we need to work the crowd, it’s about going out there and spreading the word.
What do you find as the best method to:
1. Recruit ministers?
2. Inform parents?
3. Invite students?