** I learned this youth ministry wishlist technique from Lars Rood— the youth ministry resource guru.
Has your youth ministry been naughty or nice?
My assumption is your youth ministry has been nice unless you-the beloved youth pastor has been illegally downloading music, stealing content from blogs, and preaching the prosperity gospel and not preaching repentance. But still we are all saved by grace and all youth ministries deserve a Christmas gift like the free gift of Jesus Christ.
The problem is due to our current economic recession, church budgets do not exist. My youth ministry experience was in small church ministry, so I had to always think of new ways to get stuff for our youth ministry without spending a dime. In another words, I tried to get really good at getting stuff for free and being frugal, even though finances are not my strength.
My solution: Just ask. But how do you ask? By making a youth ministry wishlist.
That is correct. Make a youth ministry wishlist like you would a Christmas gift list. So get a sheet of paper, a (color)pencil/pen/marker, a brain, all your parent/church email addresses, and 3-5 key students/adult volunteers you love and trust; and get ready to work. Ask yourself and 3-5 key students/adult leaders what does your youth ministry need? Dream big and don’t worry about money or the actuality of getting it.
Possible items to ask parents and congregation members for:
– DVD player
– video game systems
– athletic equipment (skis, snowboard, surfboards, basketballs, footballs, soccer balls)
– sleeping bags
– camping gear
– church leadership conference tickets (including lodging/food)
– ping pong/pool/fusball table
– music equipment (drums, guitar, bass, amps, etc.)
– chairs/bean bags
– snack/beverage items
Once you have compiled a long wishlist for your youth ministry, get ready to send it out to the church. Make sure to put your contact information on the list and don’t ask for money. Only ask for materials. I found that church folk are more willing to give “stuff” to a youth ministry department rather than writing a check. Church members like to feel as though they are literally “buying” into the youth ministry by providing actual and physical resources. Plus what a great way for outside adults to contribute to a ministry in the church. The church members have the security that their junk is consider gold in the youth ministry department.