For most youth ministries around the country this week is huge as you launch your fall programming.
Sure, you’ve not even finished your expense reports from all the summer stuff, but hey… it’s go time! LAUNCH WEEK! Without further ado, here’s some tips to make the most of Launch Week.
5 Tips for Launch Week
- Fun! It might sound crazy to mention, but don’t forget to make your Launch Week fun. Why? Because when people have a good time, when they laugh, when they act a little silly, they let their guard down. See, having fun isn’t just the opposite of being boring, it’s also highly functional. Whether it’s with games, skits, funny videos, or something else… fun levels the playing field and gets everyone on the same page.
- Vision! Imagine you’re a middle or high school student. The first couple weeks of school are all about casting vision as each class goes over what they’ll learn, what to expect, and how to prepare yourself to come to class. Your Launch Week should do the same thing. If you’ve got a big, over-arching vision for the school year this is the time to share it. “What are we trying to accomplish together this year?” Don’t make the mistake of launching into a 6-week series without casting some big vision for the year to come.
- Teasers! During the first couple of weeks, as you’re casting vision, as you’re having fun– shamelessly tease big items on your ministry calendar for the year to come. Is it the Fall retreat? Is it the Spring Break Mission Trip? Is it camp next summer? Start talking about it right now so that your group will start looking forward to it… and more importantly, they’ll put it on their family calendar.
- Announce, announce, announce! During Launch Week you’re going to repeat yourself a lot.During Launch Week you’re going to repeat yourself a lot. And that’s OK. Families are establishing new schedules and routines and you need to over announce things to make sure your stuff gets in. Don’t assume they know anything, say it over and over again. “We meet Wednesday nights at what time?”
- Train your volunteers! At the end of the day, volunteers need to know a lot more than when to show up and what to do. They need to know WHY you are doing things, they need to know HOW they fit into your vision, they need to know HOW to prepare for each week.
Ready to get a Masters Degree in Launch Week? Do all of this with parents, too. I mean… that’s who is actually getting them there, right?
Yesterday I felt “the turn“. You might call it something else and there might be a better term for it, but it’s that moment in the summer when things turn from the endless days of Summer towards Fall.
Continue reading End of Summer Tasks
My 17 year old is studying multiple languages and chemistry over summer break just to get a jump start, she thinks calculus is fun, and she reads complex literature in her spare time. The truth is that she’s really not that unusual. This is what today’s high school students do.
Continue reading My Commitment to an Intellectually Stimulating Youth Ministry
Astute shoppers at our online store have noticed a free resource we’re offering, A Cosmic Adventure Through Science & Faith.
And maybe you’ve wondered, “What’s up with that?”
So.. about that.
Continue reading One Part Science, One Part Youth Ministry
“Another day, another school shooting” is the saddest of refrains. Here at The Youth Cartel we’re brokenhearted and weary at the news of yet another school shooting today.
In our lament, we don’t know what else we can possibly do, we’re doing what we can to resource you and give you the tools you need to lead your teenagers.
Continue reading Another School Shooting, What Can You Do?
Do you know that smell when fresh bread comes out of the oven? The smell wafts around the house and just makes you feel warm and cozy inside? Minus the smell, that’s how it feels when a fresh printing of books arrives at the Cartel.
So if you thought it was too late to order our best selling graduation book, The Amazing Next, for your seniors… it’s not! Head over to our store and order yours today.
I’m headed out to Minneapolis next week to attend the Science in Youth Ministry Capstone Event (Register here if you want to attend, too. I hear Andy Root will be riding a dinosaur… please let that be true!) and I’d love to hang out.
Continue reading Dinner with the Cartel in Minneapolis
Earlier this week we published Dan Navarra’s excellent Youth Pastor Compensation Survey report. And, rightly so, people in the comments of the report were curious is Dan’s research had discovered a gender pay gap. In other words, are full-time women in youth ministry paid less than men in the same role?
So I wanted to address this today– which also happens to be International Women’s Day.
Continue reading Gender Pay Gap in Youth Ministry Employment
Over the last several years I’ve lead a vision trip to Haiti for youth & church leaders who are considering bringing a team to Haiti but don’t quite no where to start. Or perhaps you really want to but there’s pushback from people in the congregation about going there. (Health, safety, political climate… any number of reasons.)
Continue reading Haiti Vision Trip
Since a number of our authors are from the Philadelphia area, plus– Marko and Adam both really enjoy cheesesteaks, we thought we’d celebrate with a storewide sale.
Continue reading The Eagles won! Save 20% off our entire store now through Wednesday