January 4th = The night before school gets back in the swing of things… Or a night when families are not back in the swing of things…
Every year for the last few years I notice that attendance is down this weekend of the year for our high school program ‘EDGE’. On weeks like this I am concluding it’s ok (and better) to use this to our advantage.
Rather than have a huge kick off and be dissapointed by turn out etc, I find it’s ok to accept what is going to be, and change up what we do a little. On nights like this we make them a ‘connections night’ where we have extended worship, more hang out time and we are intentional about having lots of varying games opportunities. We also have a message, but brief and to the point.
This is what we find happens: The students actually seem to make the most of the relaxed atmosphere and seem to connect real well with each other. But here’s another insight I saw tonight: Since we have less in the program schedule, the leaders have less programming to do and therefore spend more time with the students simply connecting.
In the last 6 months or so we have been intentional about creating these connections nights and it has really paid dividends for us. It has also been to good to mix up the pace for our leaders. They too need a night where they can focus on talking, laughing and praying with these students and not programming so much. As our students get used to these nights, they have also become a place where students know they can invite a friend to EDGE as a ‘first base’ event and then step into the usual program the week after… I wish I could say we planned that… we didn’t.
Our typical ‘flow’ of what we do looks like this:
Series kick off (big elements including band covers, videos etc)
3-4 week series.
Back to series kick off…