Why you should follow up

The event’s due date passed and my numbers were bleak.

Worse, I simply hadn’t heard from the majority of people in my youth ministry.

Were they not interested?

Did they have plans?

Had they simply forgotten to turn in the forms?

That night, I debated what to do. At what point should low numbers keep you from doing a big, overnight event?

The next morning, I woke up and decided to give it one more shot.

I went through our roster and systematically followed up with families. I e-mailed parents, told them about the event, and asked if their kids would be interested in participating. I texted students and personally invited them to join us. I told people that I wanted THEM to participate. I also name dropped and let them know their friends had already signed up.

By that night, our numbers had doubled, giving us the critical mass needed to make the event worthwhile.

As I watched our numbers grow, I was reminded that low numbers don’t always reflect a lack of interest in participating. In my follow up with parents, what I heard again and again from people is: “Oh! Thanks for the reminder! We meant to turn in that permission slip but it’s still sitting on the counter with all the other forms!”

Read the rest of this article here. 

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

More about Jen

Jen's Books

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A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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