How to Plan an Outreach Event
What is your first goal as a minister to students? If you’re like me, then it is to have as many people hear the Gospel as possible.
If you are in student ministry, then you likely host outreach events in the hopes that more people come to know the Truth of the Gospel. Sometimes, we get uncomfortable with any conversation that involves the word “numbers.” Yet, the idea of said “event” is to have the maximum number of people show up who can hear the message of Christ. That’s why we shouldn’t mind focusing on numbers.
You have high expectations for the event, and you spend many hours imagining how the perfect event would play out. You imagine that you will have double your normal Wednesday night crowd. You bring in extra seating. Maybe you even plan to have the event in your sanctuary or offsite if your youth room is on the smaller side. You anticipate that because you are so excited about the event, then your students and volunteers will be too.
What if you have the picture of the perfect event in your head and then nobody shows up? One of the most discouraging things in ministry is planning for an event only to have no one show up, especially if that event is focused on sharing the Gospel. It can make you want to never do another big event again.
What you can do about it
Instead of being discouraged, let’s look at ways we can improve outreach events before they even take place. Now nothing is ever foolproof, but there are strategies that you can employ to help promote your event.
This week, I will give you five strategies you can use to improve your event and ensure maximum attendance. You want students to come. All students. Especially those who have never heard about Jesus’ love.
The first question a student who is unfamiliar with church/the Gospel is going to ask is “What’s in it for me?” Why should this student take his/her time to attend your event? In their minds, these students have done just fine without church. If you want to do a successful outreach event, then you have to make it worth their time.
The first thing you must consider is how you are going to advertise the event. Are you going to simply invite your students and tell them to invite their friends? While this may be effective for a typical Wednesday night service, if you are planning a special outreach event, you have got to do more than this.
Throughout the week, I will expand on the following strategies you can use to improve your event.