Every youth meeting where you’ve invited guests, you have the chance to add one, or more, of them as a part of your tribe.
Yes, you want them to know and receive Christ on night one of their visit, but it may take a guest time to know, understand and respond to the Holy Spirit. Remember, you are not just trying to make converts, you’re trying to make disciples and disciples take time.
This is a seven part series on tactics and strategies on getting new guests plugged into your youth group and ultimately into faith. This series was inspired by the book Belong by Radha Agrawal.
Every step should be motivated by love. Love keeps kids coming back. Each of these strategies is a way for you and your youth ministry to demonstrate love to your guests.
Remember what Jesus said, “I was a stranger (a foreigner, guest), and you took me in (gather together, receive with hospitality, entertain.) Matthew 25:35
Infuse each strategy with love and your new guests will know there is something different about you and your group. The most basic thing your guest wants is your attention. Attention communicates to them whether being at your meeting mattered or not and possibly whether they matter at all.
Give Guests Your Attention
You may have an awesome check in system with great volunteers, but you, the youth pastor, or lead youth worker, need to give new students your attention.
It’s easy to make excuses like, “I’m too busy running the program to meet with guests” but if you’re too busy to be present with your guests, you’re too busy. Guests are students who are looking to belong and for caring adults to pay attention to them.
Better you should delegate some of your roles and responsibilities to carve out time, pre-service, to share a handshake, a high five or brief moment of conversation to let that guest know you know they’re here and you are grateful for them being here.
If you simply cannot be available, make sure you have one person, student or leaders, whose job it is to track with that guest throughout the service to answer questions.
Here’s a video I did a while back to give you some ideas on what to give your in person guests.