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Welcoming Youth Ministry: Invite Kids to Come and See

welcoming youth ministry

Do you have a welcoming youth ministry? What do kids see when they come check out your program?

It’s a bracing truth: How people see you affects how they see Jesus. The same is true of a ministry. Our programs represent Jesus, but do they also reflect him? No ministry is perfect, of course. But when teenagers come and see your youth ministry, do they see Jesus? Do you offer a welcoming youth ministry and a friendly environment?

Jesus was so interesting that people came from miles away to see this “God/man” in action. Jesus didn’t hate this; in fact, when he noticed the crowds, he had compassion on them (Mark 6:34). Jesus traveled through towns and villages teaching the good news of his Kingdom. He had a message for the world and wanted people to come see what it was all about.

When people asked Jesus where he lived, he said, “Come and see” (John 1:39). When people invited their friends to get close to Jesus, they said, “Come and see” (John 1:46). In Luke 19:5, when Jesus meets a notorious tax collector in a tree, he doesn’t hammer him with the four spiritual laws. Instead, he tells Zacchaeus, “Come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” It’s as if Jesus is saying, “Have no hesitation to come and see what I’m all about.”

By creating a “come and see” culture, Jesus gained a reputation of being a friend of sinners. I want that to be my reputation, too. I want that to be our youth ministry’s reputation with teenagers in our city.

4 Traits of a Welcoming Youth Ministry

A “come and see,” welcoming youth ministry has these four characteristics:

1. A friendly environment for everyone who enters.

A “come and see,” welcoming youth ministry helps teenagers connect to the group with more than a handshake or high-five. Young people will return to places where they’re connected to peers as well as to adults who care. 

That’s why it’s important to:

  • Use student greeters to provide peer connections.
  • Have a welcoming crew that stays with guests throughout the meeting or event.
  • Communicate to kids, “You matter here!”
  • Provide friendly, loving follow-up.
  • Be genuine. Remember that you’re loving people, not projects.