June is one of my favorite months for a couple reasons: 1) It’s my birthday, and 2) It’s when our ministry gets incoming freshmen!  One of the things that we wanted to do right off the bat is get the class of 2016 involved in our ministry.  In order to do this, we wanted to throw a ministry fair!

We centered our message around the importance of using your gifts and talents to build up the body of Christ (S.H.A.P.E., as we call it) and then released the students early into the ministry fair, where they walked through a room that had 15 booths, each featuring a different ministry or serving opportunity.  We got a great response from students and I’m really excited to see how this affects the serving culture in our ministry.  If you want to throw a ministry fair for your youth group, here are a couple things to keep in mind:

-Feature ministries outside of your youth group.  Some of us have a lot of great ministries that are completely owned by our youth group, which is great, but make sure your ministry fair roster doesn’t stop there.  Always make sure you are including serving opportunities and ministries that your church as a whole offers.  This is a great reminder for students that they are a part of something much bigger than just your youth group, strongly promoting church unity.

-Get students to run it.  Set yourself up so that you are simply booking the room and making sure there are tables ready to go.  Get students to “own” the booths.  In our ministry, students run almost every ministry team, so they were the ones to run them.  If your ministry teams aren’t set up that way, get some students that are really involved in it/have a huge heart for it to run the booth.  It is great for students that are looking to sign up for ministries to see, and be able to talk to, students that are already involved in the ministry

-Make it fun! Get your students to decorate their tables.  Our Crew Ministry (greeting team) went all out (picture is included) and had costumes, our band ministry had a student playing guitar, and our tech team had a camera set up for students to play with.  Make it a competition for your students, giving awards for how creative they got with their booth.  This will let your students feel more of an ownership and make the fair more inviting for the prospective students looking for ministries.

-The finishing touches.  Before the ministry team leaders got there, we put a small packet on their table that would thank them and get them informed.  It had a letter (to thank them for their involvement), a list/blurb about all the ministries featured and a map of where they are at (to keep them informed about the fair itself).  The last detail I would push is to have a “take-away” at each table.  We gave out 4×6 cards that had all the ministry info (what it is/where it is/who to contact) so that students had something tangible to walk away with.

All of our resources (leader packet and “take-away” cards) are included in this post.

If your ministry already does a ministry fair, what would you recommend?

Colton Harker is the Student Leadership Coordinator at Saddleback HSM.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact him at coltonharker@gmail.com or on twitter at @ColtonHarker.

This past weekend we did a message on SHAPE and hosted a ministry fair – as we were looking at the service at the last minute we needed a little filler video before the message. We quickly found this one and it was absolutely perfect! it is called It’s Time to Serve from Worship House Media – love, love, love it!


Weekend Teaching Series: SHAPE + Ministry Fair (1-off)
Sermon in a Sentence: The saved serve.
Service Length:
42 minutes

Understandable Message: This week my friend Jessica and I shared the stage to teach a short message on SHAPE (Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality and Experiences) and pointed students toward a ministry fair happening right outside the youth room immediately following the service. I love doing these this time of year – it gives us a chance to nudge freshman right into a place to serve and encourage all students to get involved in the church, serving and loving others.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This week we kicked off promotion for our summer calendar and pushed hard for summer camp as we head toward sold-out status. Short service, but lots of energy!

Music Playlist: We Are the Free, Beautiful Things, All I Am

Favorite Moment: I LOVE that everyone in our church that has a ministry had a table set up – we had a ton of serve opportunities within HSM and a ton outside. Students had so many choices – love seeing them sign up and get involved today! I’ll do my best to get some pictures up here on the blog later this week, too.

Up next: STORIES (1-off)

iServe Weekend Promo Video

Josh Griffin —  October 12, 2010 — 1 Comment

Nice little video of students talking about serving in ministry. We used it to promote our “join a ministry” fair this weekend in HSM.


Weekend Teaching Series: iServe Weekend (1-off)
Sermon in a Sentence: We were created to serve others – band together to overcome fears, look for opportunities to meet a need and use your S.H.A.P.E.
Service Length: 51 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend I used a classic outline that walked students through a basic understanding of servanthood as it relates to our faith. I wanted them to understand they were gifted and how God uses our Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality and Experiences in making us to be His servants. The message was shorter than normal so students had time to visit the “join a ministry” fair we setup outside the youth room.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: There were a ton of students around this weekend – mainly because they were manning the ministry fair booths after the service. This created a high-energy atmosphere for sure. There was only a short program this week, that included a good video interviewing students about being involved in ministry and what it means to them. We also introduced Hope, a new 2-year intern. Yeah!

Music Playlist: Solution, The Earth is Yours, Our God, To the Ends of the Earth

Favorite Moment: This weekend my friends Robby (formerly on the HSM team) and Ryanne had a great idea – what if we challenged students to help start one of the new Saddleback campuses launching this Christmas. What if we asked a group of students to not just be a part of a church, but to help start one! Very excited about the students’ response to the challenge to come to HSM on Saturday night, and serve at a new campus Sunday morning. So cool!

Up Next: 2020 – the Future is Now (Saddleback’s 6-week church-wide campaign)

This weekend in HSM we did a super short official service – and gave students time to check out and sign up for a ministry in our “join a ministry” fair. We called it the iServe weekend, and encouraged students to take their time to walk through the “figure S” of tables we had set up as they left the youth room. It was an incredible weekend – LOTS of students signed up to pitch in!

Here are a few of the ministries we promoted this weekend:

Great fun – hoping to really jump start ministry right out of the gate this school year!