The words, “You are super optimistic” really floored me. One of my leaders said that to me last night in my response to an event which, on it’s face, was a flop. We had organized a go cart night and it was pricey. The go carts were indoor and had no speed limit. The price was high so it edged a bunch of kids out. In the end we had 3 kids show up.
My leaders response came as I read through our fall line up and we decided whether the event was a success or flop. When we came to the go cart event, she said flop and she was right in regards to attendance but I said, “But I spent time with kids I didn’t normally get to spend time with.” No money was lost on the event and the time spent was fruitful.
Finding the wins in our programs and events should reach beyond numbers alone. Here are a few other ways we can judge an event, barring losing a ton of money:
Who was at the event?
Were there kids who had not been to youth in a while or never been to youth at all?
What kind of conversations did we have?
Finding out about where kids are at physically and spiritually in life happens when we’re not the ring leader of an event, making sure everything is not falling apart.
What is the the future of this investment?
If time spent with a few kids at a “failed” event makes those kids feel more loved and valuable, it could change the way they view us, the youth ministry, and even Jesus in light of our commitment to them rather than an event.
Let’s remember that smaller events, that look like flops on the surface, could be just the opposite. Raise the bar on what a flop really is:
- money was lost
- something got broken
- chaos ensued
- someone died
and you may find that your “flop” is really a success in disguise.
When was the last time you had a “flop” but was really a success in disguise?