Youth leaders across the nation are preparing for another great year at CIY Believe for their middle school students. Whether you’re new to the preparation process or looking for pointers on how to improve your first steps, here’s four tips from Believe Director Mike Branton on how to get rolling.
Parental Communication. Early and often, communicate to parents the youth group’s plans to attend Believe. Give parents the opportunity to plan out their calendars for their families’ busy schedules. CIY offers a parent letter that gives a great rundown of the Believe program with open spaces for youth leaders to implement their own details and commentary to parents.
Curriculum Planning. CIY’s mission is to partner with the Church and offer curriculum to youth leaders attending the ministry’s events. There are teaching materials on the upcoming Believe tour topic, “Identity,” that can used as a teaching series leading up to the event, or uses the event’s momentum as a kickoff to the series.
Promotion is Key. Take at least six weeks prior to the Believe weekend to promote the event to students. (For parents, start communicating much earlier.) CIY offers slides, graphics and posters to help youth leaders promote the event within their church building, up on the screens, websites and printable hand-outs. The upcoming tour’s setlist of worship songs can also be found on the Believe website.
If you want to offer students some giveaways to promote the event, the CIY Store has a preorder option. We have heard great feedback from youth ministers on how having their groups wearing the same shirt is not only helpful to leaders, but builds community within the group.
Don’t Forget the Volunteers. Prep your volunteers just as much as the parents and students. Make sure they have the Believe app on their mobile devices as it is a very helpful tool with small group questions and activities, the schedule and seating map. If you’re running a little short on volunteers, look to your high school students. This is a great opportunity for them to get involved and be helping hands. This is a great recruiting tool for your ministry – if a high school student can play a small role in a weekend trip and see the impact that happens with students by serving – it’s an easy onramp for new volunteers.
By Mike Branton
Mike Branton is programming director for Believe, CIY’s Jr. high weekend event.
This article was previously published on the Kingdom Worker Hub – the blogsite of Christ In Youth, a partner of Controlled Chaos.