General Ministry

I have a question that might bring us some interesting responses for you all today and it surrounds giving students a reward for bringing a friend or friends to an event. This is nothing new, whether a chocolate bar, a crisp picture of Honest Abe on a $5 bill, a discounted registration to an event or camp or as much as an iPad from a draw. Youth Pastors everywhere regularly and sincerely are rewarding students who invite their friends to an event.  So my question today is simply this:

Do you offer a reward / prize for students who bring someone new to youth and what is it? If you don’t why not? 

-Geoff @geoffcstewart

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  • Bekah says:

    We offer something to both the the student who invited and the student who was invited. We give them a coupon for something from our cafe at the end of the night. It is not so much about rewarding the student who invited, but welcoming the new student to our group.

  • Aaron Helman says:

    A free slice of pizza to the new person and the person who brought them, but that’s it. I worry sometimes (especially with the bigger giveaways) that the new friend will feel used.

    “You never ever invited me to church before until you wanted that iPod touch.”

  • We have a pretty successful campaign called “Free Fro Yo”, we take the student who was invited and the one who invited them out for a free frozen yogurt later in the week after (usually after a Life Group meeting). I like this because it gives me the chance to hang out with and get to know a new student. Also, they have to fill out a little information about themselves to get the “coupon”. Usually more of the kids friends come along to the non threatening environment of a self-serve frozen yogurt shop, so that is an added bonus. Something like this is less transactional than a raffle drawing and provides a good way for a new student to become enmeshed with the group as well as an excuse and means for follow up.

  • Tom Neary says:

    We break our group into 4 teams, the teams are encouraged to bring friends and win points for their team… At the end of the month which ever team has the most points wins a Pizza party for the whole team….

    Before this I have typically been against a reward system for students bringing friends, but I am always encouraging students to be inviting new students and being a group that helps new students belong.

  • chad m says:

    i feel like these are straight up gimmicks. i don’t do them as i feel it creates a sense that kids should only participate in their faith if they get something in return. we have enough of that going on. also, i’d love to hear from those who do these promotions as to how many of those students who were invited “stick.” do they come back when the promo is done? do kids continue to invite friends when the bait is gone? is there pressure to go bigger and bitter with the promo prizes? what comes after the iPad?

  • Scott Tinman says:

    Ours is currently a free item from our Youth Cafe for the guest…just started thinking through this with our team and coming up with a Guest Pack to give to 1st timers and then also something to give to students who bring friends as they are taking risks in inviting their friends to come…want to say thanks for making the effort

  • Ken Leslie says:

    My spin is that we offer the GUEST a reduced rate to major events. This shows my regular kids that it is important to invite their friends, and since their friends aren’t “bought in” yet, the reduced rate helps get them to register. We have had great success with kids inviting multiple friends on targeted events. 1 kid will bring 1-5 friends for our All Night Event that is specifically geared to first time guests. The Secret? When it is an Outreach Event, I actually charge my regular kids MORE to cover the costs of the new kids!

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