Planning a Successful Outreach Event Part 2
This week, we are exploring ways to improve outreach events. As a minister to students, you already devote a great deal of time to networking with your students, but you want to create an outreach event that engages new students as well as your regulars.
What are some ways we can get students involved who might not usually come to “church”? There are many different facets of an event that have to come together to make an outreach event successful. Yes, often to host a successful outreach event, money is often involved, and so often youth ministry seems to get the short end of the church budget. However, don’t worry if you do have a smaller budget. There is always the possibility, if you really are serious about reaching your community in a huge way, of sharing the costs with other youth groups. Several churches can work together to see that the Gospel is shared in a clear way to people in your community who may never have heard what Christ has done for them.
What are some points of the outreach event that you might invest in? You don’t have to do all of these simultaneously for your event to be successful, but here are some ideas to improve your event.
If you feed them, they will come. Sometimes this proves true for a regular Wednesday night service. Teenagers like free food. Pizza.
Gift cards-restaurants, itunes, etc. are always a good starter. If you really want to bring in a crowd, then consider having several smaller giveaways in addition to a monster giveaway item (ie. ipad, tv, playstation, ipod, or xbox, etc.)
Some people may take the idea of give-aways as a bad thing. They may say that we shouldn’t have to “pay people” to come to church, but in all reality we have to meet people where they are. Does it really matter what the person’s incentive for coming is if he/she hears the Gospel? If someone comes to know Christ even though they came just to win a prize, then you have done your job.
The event should be high energy and upbeat in a loving environment. Tomorrow we will go into this with further detail. As an entertainer/speaker, I have done a lot of events and have seen a lot of events that do this well, but I have also seen events that fall short in this most important area. We want our focus on the event to be on sharing the Gospel.