Am I the only one? The only one who has absolutely looooved leading small group and serving on Wednesday nights and being genuinely excited to see those familiar faces but find myself thinking, “Why aren’t new faces showing up?”
Have you been there? You’re grateful for the ones that show up, but you’re wondering why new students aren’t coming. Honestly, it can feel defeating when you’re not seeing your small group or youth group expanding. So you ask yourself, “How can I help girls invite their friends?”
Here are a few tips that may help with that question:
What’s the “Why”?
It’s a good idea to think about the “Why” behind why we want students to invite friends to church. As leaders and parents, we understand the value of Biblical community, of having small group leaders to mentor young girls and we are able to see the transformation that happens when students begin to learn more about Christ. Being able to communicate our “Why” from the heart is huge! Think about your passion for wanting new students to be involved in Biblical community and communicate that to your students. Your passion for students who need to know Christ can spark their passion!
Set the tone! Be inviting and open
To be honest, some students may not invite their friends because they may fear how their friends will be received within the church. As mothers and leaders, it’s necessary for us to create an environment that is inviting and loving. Loving and inviting for the new girl, the girl who is a bully, the girl with behavior issues, the girl from a different ethnic group, and the girl who doesn’t understand modesty – especially at church. Anyone else feel that gut punch? Yeah, me too, but we have the opportunity to set the tone for girls to feel welcome within our church walls. If new girls feel welcomed and accepted, our regular attendees are more likely to feel comfortable inviting girls to church.
Girls loooove to dress up and have fun, right?! Why not use that to help them invite friends? You can do that by hosting a “Twin Night” on a Wednesday Night where they participate by inviting a NEW girl to church and they dress like twins! You can add in a fun game and give away a prize to the twinningest duo! (I totally made up a word!) It’s a simple and fun way to encourage students to invite others to church!!
Share your story
If you personally were invited to church by a friend and it made an impact on you, share your story! Or maybe, you’ve invited someone and their life was impacted…share it! I mean, who doesn’t love a great story? Oh wait…maybe you invited someone, they attended once or twice and haven’t returned since. Ouch. Guess what? Share it anyway! We want to show that as moms and leaders, that we are being transparent and relatable and we aren’t encouraging them to do something that we haven’t.
Be a friend
As the new school year approaches, it’s a great time to encourage your students to be intentional about inviting. Urge them to look around their school or neighborhood and be a friend to a girl who’s struggling with family issues, going through a bad breakup or a girl who may be headed down the wrong path. By being a friend and growing that relationship, new students are more likely to accept the invite to come to church.
Ultimately, we all want to see the church grow and see students’ lives changed and encouraging and equipping students to invite their friends is a key way to do it!
Nikki Tigg is an MTSU grad and currently lives in Murfreesboro, TN with her husband and son. She felt called to serve in High School Ministry in 2012 and led co-ed and girls groups. She has been Student Ministry Associate at New Vision Baptist Church since July 2017. Nikki has a passion for helping girls understand their identity in Christ and loves connecting with students, parents and leaders. She loves spending time with her family, decorating and enjoys an active lifestyle.