- Start and End With Prayer - The bible teaches us that God blesses those who bless Him and He speaks to those who listen. The foundation and power of your group should be prayer. Group leaders should also get together and pray for direction and guidance. Remember, if we pray God will hear us.
- Select Good Topics - Ask speakers who are faithful to the Church to talk to your group on occasion and try to vary the formats -- one week have a straight lecture and a Question and Answer session, the next week you might break into small groups to discuss a particular topic. In short, mix things up!
Keep the people intrigued with a mix of topics. Don't be afraid to dive into heavy topics with your youth groups. Just remember to keep the conversation age appropriate.
Pray a lot for discernment. Pray to know when you should deliver the tough message and when you should wait for a better time.
Do some "ice breaker" activities at the beginning of a meeting. Ask things like: Who travelled the farthest during the last week or month? Who had a birthday? etc. They will help people feel more comfortable and help build familiarity and freindships.
- Use Good Marketing - They say that perception is reality. If your group is perceived as a good place to be, it will draw people to it and help keep them interested and involved. Use some of these specific ways to promote your group:
- Develop a catchy group name. Try for something short and easy to remember - hold a contest to come up with the name
- Create a logo or visual identity that you can use on papers, signs, or even t-shirts.
- Create t-shirts to build on a sense of membership and belonging. People like to belong to things.
- Consider putting a sports team together and play in a local church or park league.
- Ask someone to act as a PR person to place regular announcements about group activities in the church bulletin and local media.
- Print up some business cards with group's meeting times, location, and even a map. Let the members have some to use as invitations to friends at school etc.
- Publish a regular newsletter - monthly, if possible. Even one page is enough. You can ask the members to contribute stories or write about recent activities and outings.
- Thinks of funny or clever titles to promote upcoming events or study topics. Be creative, but tasteful.
- Ask group members to actively seek out new members and be on the lookout for other kids who might benefit from your group. Recognize and reward those who invite others. You might even establish a "Bring A Friend" night once a month.
- Run a canned good collection or other activity that will benefit others. Invite the people you meet to come to your meetings or check out your church.
- Create The Right Atmosphere - Make your meetings comfortable, inviting, and upbeat. Try to create a sense of anticipation for your next meeting. Make people feel like there is always something special happening at the meetings. Invite members to help decorate the meeting room if allowed.
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