June is one of my favorite months for a couple reasons: 1) Itâ€™s my birthday, and 2) Itâ€™s when our ministry gets incoming freshmen!Â One of the things that we wanted to do right off the bat is get the class of 2016 involved in our ministry.Â 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.Â We got a great response from students and Iâ€™m really excited to see how this affects the serving culture in our ministry.Â 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.Â 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 doesnâ€™t stop there.Â Always make sure you are including serving opportunities and ministries that your church as a whole offers.Â 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.Â Set yourself up so that you are simply booking the room and making sure there are tables ready to go.Â Get students to â€œownâ€ the booths.Â In our ministry, students run almost every ministry team, so they were the ones to run them.Â If your ministry teams arenâ€™t set up that way, get some students that are really involved in it/have a huge heart for it to run the booth.Â 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.Â 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.Â Make it a competition for your students, giving awards for how creative they got with their booth.Â 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.Â Before the ministry team leaders got there, we put a small packet on their table that would thank them and get them informed.Â 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).Â The last detail I would push is to have a â€œtake-awayâ€ at each table.Â 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 â€œtake-awayâ€ 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.Â If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter at @ColtonHarker.