This week, we’ve been knee deep in Back to School stuff… Youth Ministry style! If you’re playing catch up, you can read about Tuesday’s B2S Care Package idea here and yesterday’s crazy Youth Room Makeover here. Today is all about the nitty gritty- how we communicate what’s going on with everyone. Having quality programming is great, but if no one knows it exists, then none of that actually matters.This won’t be a super wordy post, just a few of the ways that we communicate with our students and parents throughout the year. Oh, and to top it off, I’ve got a few other photos that didn’t make the post yesterday- that’s right, a little behind the scenes action plus an area that got a makeover, but not airtime at all yesterday! Get pumped.
Ok, onto the communication thing- we do our best to tell people what’s going on in a multitude of different ways and through a host of different platforms.
- Church Website- We are in the process of a website makeover actually, so when the new one is up and running, I hope to use this as the primary “hub” for finding all things Youth Min.
- Snail Mail- One of the best, in my opinion. There are so many emails floating around these days that the chances of important information getting deleted are high. We don’t mail everything home (for postage reasons), but here are a few examples of things that do make it to UPS (feel free to click on the links for a generic Word Doc. sample that you can tweak and use for your own purposes).
Welcome Back Sample: This is a packet that gets sent out at the beginning of each year to each student. It includes three pieces: a Welcome Back Letter,…a document that gives a run down of the ways that we communicate throughout the year,
In addition to the Welcome Back Packet, we send out postcards for big events. Here’s an example of our Kickoff postcard that each student received in the mail:Sorry for the blurred out faces, but it’s for privacy/safety purposes (don’t worry- the unblurred ones are just Mitch and I). Unfortunately, I can’t attach the tweakable version for your use (because it’s a Publisher document), but you get the idea. Oh, and with anything we send home, I always (always always) sign it myself. The postcards even get a quick note to each student, telling them that I’d love to see them there- I want them to know that they were individually thought of enough and that each correspondence that they receive is intentionally meant for them.
Bonus: Every month we send out a Youth Newsletter (this is not mailed, but available in the Youth Room and online). Click the link for a version that you can fiddle with for your own program: September Newsletter Sample .3. Social Media- We have a FB page, a Twitter, and an Instagram for the Youth Ministry and we give all of that information out at the beginning of the year.
4. Emails- We call them “In the Know” and they go out weekly with what’s happening that week, the following week, and in the future. These are crafted using Constant Contact.
5. Cards- I love writing cards and have a whole basket in my office devoted to stationary. I do my best to send at least one card to each student every year. We’re still working on getting the birthday card system down…
Annnnnd that’s about it- all (or most) of the ways we spread the word about things around here. Now for that backstage pass I promised. Remember the chalkboard above the Sink Nook from yesterday? Well, here’s what it was looking like mid-makeover:
I have a habit of doing this…
And the space that got a mini-makeover, but no airtime? It was the hallway! All of the walls are painted white and can become very monotonous, but we happied it up with some fun borders (they truly are a great “fix all”) and a few fun additions. First, we announced the upcoming arrival of our Youth Mail Center. Our church has a place where every family has a mailbox and I wanted to do the same for the youth… plans are in action.
And on the other side, we started our very first Picture Timeline. Essentially, I covered all of the tack strips with happy green borders, printed/mounted/laminated a sign for every month of the year, and strung twine going all the way down the hallway. The plan is to add photos of things we do during each month as we work our way through the year. That way, anyone passing through can stop and take a look at what’s happening in the Youth Ministry. Just these few tweaks have made such a difference to an otherwise bleak hallway. Yay for simple, but effective upgrades!
Have a great day!