Have you ever felt so encouraged by a large amount of students signing up for events, but then when the event finally arrives, only half of them show up? You go from super encouraged to super discouraged in the matter of minutes! Why does this happen? Well, first of all, it seems that the commitment level has changed drastically not just for youth ministry events, but for life in general. It is difficult to get families to commit to things, but when you are planning a youth event, you need commitment Here are a few ways to get your students to follow through with commitment to your youth group events:
- Non refundable deposits for events– This will help you financially! Sometimes we get stuck when kids say, “yes I will go to the event, and will pay you soon,” so you sign them up, and then they back out without paying you. Then, do you go to them begging for the money, or how do you handle it? Non refundable deposits usually get the “committed” students to sign up.
- No back outs after a certain date– Have a limit to where a student cannot back out after a certain date with any refund unless it is an emergency (death in the family, etc.) I get students wanting to back out the day of the event, because they found something better to do. Students need to be taught commitment.
- Parent Involvement– Have you ever had students sign up for something without their parents knowing? The more you get the parents “in the know” the better off you are of the student staying committed to the event. Let parents know which students have signed up.
- Teach on Commitment– Parents need to hear about commitment in parent meetings, but students need to hear about commitment in youth group as well so that they can understand commitment can be a sign of our faith as well. We must follow through with what we say.
- Complete Payments need to be due a week before the event– I am pretty flexible so I tell some students to just pay on the day of the event, but this has backfired in so many cases, it is not even funny. If you make students pay a week prior to the event (mostly works for larger events), it will help with the commitment level.