Last month we did our big fall outreach, in one night we had two big events. The first part of the night was Laser Tag for middle schoolers followed by a huge game of Capture the Flag for high school students.
When we started planning for this event, we knew that if students didn’t invite their friends…the event would not be a win.
We brainstormed all the ways we could empower and equip our students to invite others. How would we help them start conversations that led to invitations?
We came up with a list of ways we decided to try out this year:
Promo T-Shirts: We printed 80 shirts with a simple design that said “ask me about Capture the Flag” and we gave them away to students. The only condition was that you had to wear the shirt 2 times before the week of the event and the week of the event you needed to wear the shirt 3 times. The shirts disappeared quickly and we watched over the week as students posted pictures of themselves online with their shirts on.
Promo Cards: These were no brainer cards. We printed 1000’s of these cards and made sure students had access to them. Students would personally hand out one or stick them to lockers in their schools. Easy invites ever.
Social Media Images/Videos: Listening to a student tell us how she wished she could just show her friends how cool the event was, inspired this next idea. We had plenty of great images and video footage from the previous year doing this event at our fingertips. We had an intern create 15-second videos with music that students could repost on their own social media outlets. We did the same with some great action shots from the previous year. It was so fun to see these over and over on my various feeds.
Testimonies: We gave students a chance to showcase how they were inviting their friends…they shared their ideas from recruiting others to help with the invite to sending out group text messages. It inspired other students to see that they can also invite others without feeling like they were alone. It helped normalize the “ask.”
I will tell you that this year we had such great success with students inviting friends. We had a record attendance year and it was so amazing to see so many faces that we had NEVER seen before at church. It wasn’t because we did anything different in our program instead we watched our students take the challenge to invite their friends. It was a definite win.
How do you equip your students to invite?