Our youth ministry recently sponsored a 5k run/walk for missions. We asked out local police to help out with the run by blocking off the roads as the runners ran. We did not have a huge contingency of runners, about 30. We had a few slower walkers in the back and the police blocked off our road in front to the church, stopping traffic both ways, to let these runners finish. It took about 1o minutes. If people did not know where our church was before , they do now.
It’s the 50th anniversary of the classic ford car, the Mustang. As a way to draw attention to their brand they pulled a stunt they did 50 years ago. they took a Mustang apart and put it back together on top of the Empire State building.
We may not be able to pull of a stunt like this, but youth ministries are good at thinking of outrageous things. For me it was things putting a DJ up on the church roof for a 5th Quarter and putting my whole youth group in jail to talk about tithing. These stunts are about making noise, and saying, “Look over here!” But, if we are going to public, we had better have some some fire behind that smoke. Making noise is fun, but have you every been to a restaurant that was overly hyped only to find out it was no big deal? The key is make the right amount of noise that is consistent with our substance. Every week is not a party. Some weeks it’s preaching and small groups. I don’t just take picture and videos and pics of epic events, but of very normal stuff we do from van rides to
the food we cook in our cafe.
The run we had was a public event with signs and runners representing a good cause, missions. My hope, as a youth worker and believer, that kids in our youth ministry will pass along their faith every week once they leave our youth room. I want kids to invite their friends, but sometimes our kids sometimes cannot put into words what we do or who we are. I mean, they say things like “it’s fun” or “people are friendly” and that is all true and a fair representation of who we are, but I try to give them an extra nudge each week to sharing who we are.
Jonah Berger says, “If we can’t see what others do we cannot imitate them.” The point of the videos and pics are not as much promotional “come join us” as they are a glimpses into who we, and to show that the faith we live is a faith students outside our youth ministry can embrace as well. Every 7 second video on Instagram of a game we play or part of a worship song is a different dynamic of who we are and to hopefully get give our students a way to share who we are and get their friends thinking and believing “I could be a part of that.”
In what ways are you making what you do and who you are, in your youth room every week , more public?
What platform of social media do your kids like to share on most?
What kind of media do your kids share the most? Videos? Pictures? Posts?
STEPPS 5: 10 Ways Your Youth Ministry Could Be More Practical
Jonah Berger on taking what we do privately more public.