Operation Welcome Mat – Your soon-to-be new youth won't know what hit 'em but they sure will wear it. Here is what you need: a car full of energetic youth, directions to the houses of teenagers who have recently visited your church, lots of your left-over youth ministry T-shirts, some glow in the dark bracelets, some youth group newsletters, some personalized invitations encouraging students to get more involved in your church's youth ministry, and a night set aside to get a little crazy.
Here's what you do: roll the newsletters and invitations around the T-shirts and tie them all together with the glow in the dark bracelets. Next, fill your car with some of your most excited youth group members and proceed to the houses of the pre-selected teens. As you approach each house, designate someone to drop off a T-shirt and youth group information at the front door. You can greet the person at the door, or do like FED EX and just leave it on the mat. The T-shirt with glowing bracelet makes a nice surprise to whoever opens the door and the success rate of return guests is amazing. Most of the guests will even be wearing the T-shirt you gave them. Warning: this activity is destined to get your youth group noticed by everyone in every household you visit. Proceed with a welcoming attitude and follow-up with friendship.
Shas Purcell, Youth Minister, Concordia Lutheran Church, San Antonio, TX
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.