Finding ways to improve in ministry is what I'm looking for each day.
How do we help new students feel accepted?
What does my environment create?
Is there a place and people who welcome new students?
What ways can we help students take next steps towards Christ?
I spent some time with a friend of mine at LCBC weeks ago and we spent a few hours talking at a coffee shop about how we reach and connect students to God. What I learned were some clear steps on how to help students feel accepted from the moment they walk in the door.
Ministry is leading people to where God wants them to be.
Because we value students experiencing the love of Christ, they should know this immediately. Here is how we want to funnel students into our student ministry:
Greeters help build a welcoming environment. A small group of students will help alongside our adults, to greet the students as they arrive. First time guests will receive a can of candy as a gift.
"First 5" - As students enter the room, small groups will cluster together and spend the first five minutes answering a fun question. It helps create the welcoming environment for new students and helps the leaders know who they have to welcome in their small group. It can go longer than 5 minutes, but we want them to feel like it was over too soon, rather than drawn out.
Games - We spend around 10-15 minutes with our middle schoolers to create community. High school students receive time to hang out together in the concourse before the gathering.
Welcome/Announcements: We follow the game with a quick welcome and reminder of what is coming up. We are trying to build an orientation statement such as,
"We are glad you are here especially if this is your first time! We are about to continue our series, "(insert series title)" so find your message notes, your Bible and a pen. After we all worship together, we will end the night in small groups."
What thoughts do you have on welcoming students?