Every fall, we kick off the new school year and we welcome new teens and kids into the environments we have created. In the crowd, we are guaranteed to have many new kids trying to figure out what is going on and whether or not they even want to be there! Being the new guy is never fun because it’s filled with anxiety. We know this because when we are new to any environment, we still feel this anxiety as adults. Put yourself in the shoes of the kids that came for the first time this past week and process those feelings.
The new year heightens the need to process how we engage first time guests, but it’s really an issue that should always be on our mind. Every week is someone’s first time, and we only get one chance to make that impression count. Here are four ways to help the new kid connect …
- Give your best every week—every week is a first time for someone, so that is why every week we should give our best. Every week is a big deal so plan like it.
- Connect kids and teens to small group leaders quickly—quickly connect new kids and teens to a small group leader that can be a host to make sure your first time guest has a good experience. Small group leaders can help the new kid meet other kids and push the conversation.
- Give new kids and teens a heads up about what they should expect—right off the bat, make sure and fill in first time guests with a picture of what the experience will be like.
- Go the extra mile to thank them for coming—don’t just say thanks, do something special for the first time guest. Send them home with something or send something their way in the mail!
- Follow up and invite back—every kid and teen wants to know they are valued! Reach out and invite them back!