Yep, that’s right. On Tuesday, I did an event and NO ONE showed up. Now, over my time in youth ministry, I’ve had a few events where just a small handful came, but at least I had a few people show. This week NO ONE showed up! The Big Zero, Nada, Zilch, Null. Have you ever had that happened before?
So, as I processed this, I began to wonder where did I go wrong and I came up with a few conclusions:
- Wrong Promotion. For starters, even though I have it on the summer calendar and highlighted it on my weekly emails to parents, I didn’t have it highlighted in the church services at all in the weeks leading up to the event. And, I failed to promote it and talk about it to students enough.
- No personal invites. So this event is a brand new event, never been done before and hardly any students knew about it. Let’s be honest, they don’t check emails or calendars you mail to them anymore. They need leaders talking to them, texting them, tweeting them and Facebooking them personally (sorry, Google+ no one goes to your site). When a leaders calls up a student and personally invites them to something, the chances of them coming to that event dramatically increases (I would love someone to do a study on that alone…anyone?). And, none of that happened this past week…not even from me, the Youth “Guy”. So, if students don’t know about it and aren’t invited to it, how can we expect them to come to it?
- No student input. Probably the biggest error of my ways is that I didn’t process this idea with students. I thought it would be a good idea to try but I never ran it by students to see if they thought it was good. For all I know they could have known about the program but thought it was too stupid of an idea to come to. How would I know…I never asked them.
So there you have it. No one showed up because I failed to do a few things that, after 14 years of youth ministry, I should definitely have known to do. But you are never too old to learn from successes and defeats. No one showing up is something I don’t ever want to see happen again.
What do you think? Have you ever had an experience like this? What have you learned from that and how did the next time you did that event reflect the changes you made? TAKE A MINUTE right now and share your thoughts, experiences or comments so we can all learn and benefit.