The dog days of summer will soon be kibble. Back to school sales will quickly turn into Halloween pumpkins. Yellow buses will once again terrorize our young. That means summer is soon over and fall will be here very quickly. In youth ministry, that often means “FALL KICKOFF” time!
I knew it was fall kickoff time because I started to get lots of hits on several of the fall kickoff posts I’ve written. You can read about how to plan for a fall kickoff, Fall Kickoff Ideas, , and getting ready for the fall.
Hopefully by now you’re already deep into the planning stages for your fall kickoff, if you have one. If not, you better get a move on! Today, I’m going to talk about how to follow up after your kickoff.
The Kickoff is not merely another event on your calendar, but the jump off point for your ministry year. Hopefully your kickoff will be well attended, generate excitement for the ministry, and get your students ready for the year. But the kickoff does not end when you lock the doors of the church that night. To maximize its effectiveness, you need to follow up.
First of all, you need to follow up on your visitors. This is a “no-duh” statement, but to follow up on them you need to have information on them. Name, address, email, facebook, etc. You don’t need to have them fill out a detailed form, just a small card will do. Afterwards, send them a thank you note for coming and invite them back to your regular programs. Also, consider having one of your student leaders make contact at school and give them an invite as well. Don’t stalk them but let them know what you’ve got going on and that you’d love to have them be a part.
Secondly, find ways to involve your fringe students. Usually these are the type of events that your fringe students will attend. By fringe, I mean the students that don’t show up regularly but hover around the edge of your ministry. Use the kickoff as a way to draw them in. Train your leaders to notice these fringe students and to help build relationships with them so that they’ll have something to come back to. Afterwards, you or a leader that connected get in touch with them.
Look to push your regulars. Sometimes we allow complacency to set in, but it can be devastating for your ministry. After the kickoff, challenge your regulars to choose this year to make a difference in their community. Don’t be afraid to use the excitement coming off the kickoff to point your students in the right direction.
Finally, galvanize your leaders, both adult and students. Don’t be the only one following up, get them involved as well. Give them ownership of the follow up. Let them help spread the excitement of your ministry.
Your fall kickoff will likely give your ministry a lot of forward momentum. Don’t waste that momentum by not following up. What do you do to follow up on your fall kickoff?