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5 Steps To A Youth Ministry Kick-Off Event!

Are you ready to kick-start an exciting year of youth events? Say goodbye to boring planning meetings and hello to a productive pizza party! In just five simple steps, you can plan a full year...

Are you ready to kick-start an exciting year of youth events? Say goodbye to boring planning meetings and hello to a productive pizza party! In just five simple steps, you can plan a full year of monthly events, inspire and recruit more volunteers, and build stronger relationships with your students, parents, and volunteers.

Plan Your Entire Year Of Youth Events In One Night With Volunteers In Place

Gather your youth and turn a mundane planning meeting into a fun-filled pizza party. By involving your youth in the planning process, you'll ensure that the events you choose are ones they actually want to attend. Plus, you'll have a calendar year of events ready to go and volunteers signed up to lead.

  • Plan a full year of monthly events with extra ideas to last for years to come.
  • Inspire & recruit more volunteers.
  • Build stronger relationships with students, parents, and volunteers.

You may be wondering, "Does it sound too good to be true?" Well, it may sound too good, but trust me, it's totally doable!

Planning Events For Success

A Youth Event Calendar That Works For Your Small Church

If you're part of a small church, you know that organizing youth events can be challenging. Without the budget to hire a full-time youth director, many small churches struggle with vision, leadership turnover, and inconsistent momentum. As a result, they end up with boring events and a limited number of attendees.

But here's the truth: you can have exciting events that kids want to come to and grow your volunteer team at the same time!

That's where the kick-off meeting comes in. It's a fantastic opportunity to bring everyone together - from supporters on the fringe to adults who want to get involved. By involving parents and volunteers in the planning process, you'll ensure that the events you choose are not only exciting but also fit well into everyone's schedule.

  • Parents & volunteers bring their calendars, so the dates you choose actually stick.
  • Youth are involved in the planning, so you create events they actually want to come to.
  • People get excited and actually sign up to volunteer the same evening.

Why Consistent Events In A Small Church Matter

At the core of youth ministry is building relationships. While events shouldn't be the sole focus, they do play an essential role in fostering those relationships. Events provide a "place" where connections can happen, especially when they are implemented with intentionality and consistency.

So before you dive into planning a bunch of events, take the time to clarify the Four Keys To A Strong Youth Ministry Foundation: Core Beliefs, Policies That Protect, A Strategy, And Developing A Team. This foundation will ensure that your events align with your ministry's goals and values.

Events Are Part Of The Strategy

Events are catalysts for building relationships in a kids' ministry. They provide opportunities for kids and parents to connect consistently. However, in a small church where time and resources are limited, organizing events can feel overwhelming.

So how do you keep a consistent calendar of events that work for small numbers without stretching your budget or your time?

This Youth Ministry Kick-Off Planning Party Breaks The Mold

This kick-off planning party combines the best of all worlds into one three-hour block. It's not just a vision meeting or a planning meeting - it's a team-building experience like no other! With the right facilitator and a well-organized agenda, this party will be the most effective three hours you've ever experienced.

  • It builds youth leadership.
  • It fosters team vision.
  • It widens your reach.

And of course, it wouldn't be a party without brainstorming, decision-making, and, of course, food!

3 No-Compromise Ingredients For Success

To ensure the success of your kick-off planning party, there are three key ingredients that you cannot compromise on:

Facilitator And Emcee: Fun & Fast

The leader of the meeting plays a crucial role in keeping the energy high and the momentum going. Think of them as the DJ at a wedding reception, knowing when to play the right song and when to keep the fun flowing. Their energy and positivity will keep everyone engaged and ensure a productive meeting.

Timing Is Everything

Choosing the right time and date for your kick-off meeting is essential. Survey your key families ahead of time to determine a date that works for most of them. Late summer or the beginning of the school year tends to be a good time. Avoid scheduling directly after church to avoid low energy levels.

Invite The Right People

A successful kick-off meeting requires the participation of key individuals. Make sure to invite youth, parents, volunteers, core leaders in your church, and even potential future volunteers or supporters. However, it's important to exclude younger siblings, older youth who are no longer part of the program, and people who don't enjoy working with teenagers.

Set Up Your Environment

Creating the right atmosphere is crucial for a successful kick-off meeting. Consider the following elements:

  • Music
  • Food
  • Tables for small group discussions
  • Post-it notes for brainstorming ideas
  • Colored pens for creativity
  • Stickers for voting on top events
  • Signs for different event categories
  • Calendar months posted on the walls
  • A timer to keep things on track

Prepare everything in advance to ensure a smooth experience and to allow yourself to focus on welcoming and engaging with participants.

Lead With Purpose

During the meeting, it's essential to stay focused on your agenda and keep everyone on track. Side discussions should be tabled for another time. Remember your goals and the specific outcomes you want to achieve. By the end of the meeting, you should have a working calendar in place for the year.

Sample Youth Ministry Kick-Off Planning Party Agenda

To give you an idea of how to structure your kick-off meeting, here's a sample agenda for a three-hour time block:

  • Welcome And Introductions: Create a fun and positive atmosphere where everyone feels welcome. Take a few minutes for each person to share one thing they are excited about in the coming year.
  • Share Your Vision And Goals For The Evening: Outline your objectives for the meeting and explain the process of brainstorming and choosing events.
  • Individual Brainstorming Session: Set a timer and have everyone come up with one idea for a youth event. Stick the ideas on the table for everyone to see.
  • Table Team Groups Ideas: Divide participants into small groups and have them group similar ideas together.
  • Table Sharing With Large Group: Each group shares their ideas with the whole group, celebrating and affirming each suggestion.
  • Organize Post-Its On Wall In Categories: Have everyone place their sticky notes under the appropriate category signs.
  • Sticker Time! Choose Top Events: Give each participant stickers and have them vote on their top events. This will help determine which events generate the most energy and enthusiasm.
  • Wrap Up The Idea Time: Express appreciation for everyone's creative ideas and explain the next steps of the planning process.
  • Pizza Time: Take a break and enjoy some pizza while the core leaders evaluate volunteer involvement for each event.
  • Choose 12 Events And Get Them On The Calendar: Involve adults and youth in selecting the top events for the year. Consider personal family commitments and ensure that the events align with your church's core beliefs.
  • Consider Personal Family Commitments And Preferences: In a small church, it's crucial to consider the schedules and commitments of key families to maintain high attendance and energy levels.
  • After The Kick-Off Meeting: Follow up with an email or social media post to share the meeting's success, publish the year calendar, and ensure that everyone stays on track.

By following these steps and engaging everyone in the process, you'll create a calendar of events that your youth will be excited to participate in, and you'll build a strong, active volunteer team.

Remember, youth ministry is all about building relationships. With a well-planned kick-off event, you can lay a solid foundation for a successful year of empowering and inspiring the youth in your church community.