Have you invited someone to go to Church/religious event with you?
According to Barna research,
only 4% of unchurched adults were invited to church by a friend and actually went,
23% were invited but declined,
and 73% were never invited at all.
These adults cannot possibly have been recalling high school days, right? Our youth ministries are great at inviting....aren't we? Teens know they are welcomed and when they can bring their friends to our programs, activities and events...correct? Perhaps we need to take time to evaluate our invitation styles, tools, and skills.
Here are just a few questions to help evaluate:
-- Do on our flyers, posts and announcements explicitly state WHO is invited and if friends can come?
-- Are our flyers, posts and announcements placed in locations that teens and their parents will see them?
-- Do we have adults helping us personally invite youth to be part of programs/activities/events in person, by phone call, etc., or do we rely on flyers, posts and announcements?
-- Do parents have enough information to know that they WANT to encourage their sons/daughters to participate in the programs, activities, events?
- Have we empowered teens to invite others by making sure they have the language necessary to offer invitations to friends, neighbors, relatives, etc.?
Of course, enthusiasm will spill over, so when our teens feel valued, excited, and engaged, they will naturally want to share the spirit...so be sure each and every participant is welcomed and treated to genuine hospitality once they have said "YES" to an invitation!
Then, just maybe, if Barna polls again in 5 - 10 years, that last number will be closer to zero (and if we really show we are Christians by our love, maybe that top number will be higher as well!) Let's get to inviting!
I was asked today, again, to share some ideas on "how to get the word out" on ministry opportunities, classes, events. In the Church, we often lack a Marketing Budget, so we make good use of the means we have....Word of Mouth is always best, so arrange for a phone tree and to have key contacts talk it up when they see their friends. Here are some additional ways YOU can promote:
Publicizing Your Ministry Event
(Ideas collected over the years by Cindee Case)
First of all,
Be sure your publicity includes all the basic information:
+ Name of event/program
+ Location where event will take place
+ Date of event, as well as beginning and ending times
+ Cost for the event or if it is FREE
+ Registration deadline date, if any
+ What participants would need to bring to the event
+ Sponsoring parish/ministry name, as well as contact information
+ When possible, how participants will benefit from attending
(You would be surprised how often people forget one of these key details!)
Places and Ways to publicize:
Ø Bulletin boards--
§ Posters, flyers, tear-off sheets, etc.
§ At parish, schools, places the target audience hangs out
Ø Newsletters (parish, school, ministry)
Ø Bumper stickers
Ø Bulletin announcements—your place and surrounding parishes
Ø Bulletin insert
Ø Announcement at weekend liturgies
Ø “Sell the idea” to groups and clubs that already exist
Ø News Releases to local newspapers, radio stations, TV Community Calendars,
Ø Direct mailing
Ø Emailing (if have permission for direct communication!)
Ø Post on website
Ø Facebook “event”
Ø Text Blast (if have permission for direct communication!)
Ø Have an exhibit at the parish ministries fair, festival or other.
Please, COMMENT to share more ideas!
Cindee Case, MAPS
Director of the Diocese of Youngstown Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.