Creating Inviters

Over the summer I had to ask myself a few difficult questions. Our Student Ministry at had a great school year an...

Over the summer I had to ask myself a few difficult questions. Our Student Ministry at had a great school year and went into the summer strong. We had grown in an incredible way. We finally had some student leaders step up and start to lead. But over the summer I had to ask myself some hard questions.

We were out of space. We had simply outgrown our location. Which sounds like a lot more of an accomplishment then it really is. Our space isn’t that large. But we needed to maximize it the best we could. At this point us moving into another building was just not in the cards! We had to ask ourselves some hard questions. Do we have 2 services? What does that look like? Etc…

So I did what I do when I get stumped. I asked someone who I trust very much. A mentor of mine.
He said asked me this question. What is your drawing potential? Do you draw most of you students from Or do you have inviters?

The question rocked my world! Do I have inviters? Do I have students that believe in what we do so much that they are inviting their friends. The answer was very underwhelming. We had done a great job working on making sure we got the students that were attending on Sundays to show up on Wednesdays! But we had not quite gotten to the step where we felt like students were going into their schools and inviting their friends.

We hadn’t yet created INVITERS!

So I decided that we would move some things around in our space and keep moving forward without splitting! Then I did some intentional things to tweak a few things in our mid week gathering to help move students from attenders to inviters! The good news is that is has worked great. Just a few subtle changes made a huge difference. The one problem with that that we are out of space again. But if I am going to have a problem that one will do.

Here are 5 things to help you create inviters.

Increase the Fun Level – Sometimes I am a little too serious for my own good. I love playing games and doing fun stuff, but I only have a limited amount of time with these students. In my mind playing games or doing some goofy things was not maximizing that time. When we did a survey with some of our student leaders we found that I was WAY wrong. They wanted to have more fun. They didn’t want it to be soo intense. So we started this year incorporating FUN!

Challenge – Sometimes all students need is the words “Bring your friends” to get them thinking and to get them moving. Don’t be afraid to challenge your students to be Jesus at their schools and to invest in people and invite them to come with them on a Wednesday!

Empower – This year we started something called student serve! I am sure that many of you are familiar and support the concept of empowering students to attend on Wednesdays and plug them in to serve the overall vision of the church on Sundays. Students don’t want to feel like they are on hold. They want to know that they can be used now! That they can make a difference now. Empowering them to be a part of something that is bigger than they are will generate a lot of excitement! Excitement breeds excitement. They tell their friends and the rest is history.

Give every Student a Pastor – I cant really express how much I believe in small groups. Here is the reality that we have all heard 6 million times. I cant effectively pour into 85 students. If all I had on my plate was student ministry I would be hard pressed to effectively do it for 12. That leaves a huge gap. That we fill by empowering small group leaders not to just facilitate conversations once a week. But they become the pastor for those students. They love on them. They pursue them. They are there for them making a difference in their lives.

Elevate Quality – this is a hard thing to define for every different organization. Excellence is doing the absolute best you can with the resources that you have. The important thing isn’t that you try to be someone else. It is that you make sure to answer a simple question. What is quality look like for my organization? Then make that happen. Students wont attach their name to something that doesn’t have a level of quality. They may keep coming if they have made some connections. But inviting their friends is a whole different animal. Elevate quality. Which just means that you need to do the absolute best you can with what you have every week! 

What would you add to my list?

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