Youth Ministry Resources: In youth ministry, there’s a lot to communicate. Youth leaders need to communicate with a whole lot of people: students, parents, community members etc. So how can we make sure we communicate effectively with those we want to reach?

Five steps to make sure you communicate effectively

In youth ministry, there’s a lot to communicate. We need to inform parents about the retreat. We need to make youth enthusiastic for the next youth service. We need to tell the church board or elders about our plans. We need to make sure other ministries know we need to use the building for the training event. In short, we need to communicate everything we do to a whole lot of people. How can we make sure we communicate effectively?

Communicate early

When you start organizing something, start out by touching base with everyone who will need to be informed. Do this as soon as you have enough info to communicate to avoid last minute surprises. The sooner people know what’s happing, the sooner you will be informed of any problems, issues or difficulties. The bigger the event, the more important it is to start communicating early.

Communicate specifically

Make a list of everyone who needs to be informed and then make a list of what each of these groups needs to know. Parents may need to know a whole lot more about the retreat than the church board does for instance. Effective communication means targeting each group with exactly the information that they need. Put yourself in the shoes of each group and ask: if I were a parent, what would I want to know about the retreat? If I were the custodian, what would be important info for me?

Communicate repeatedly

How we wish everyone would actually read our newsletters, emails, brochures and church bulletins. The sad reality is that we need to repeat our message a couple of times to make sure it’s being read and heard. The more important the group in terms of the success of the event, the more often you need to repeat the info. Variation in communication helps as well, so try and use different media.

Communicate clearly

You’d be surprised at how many invites for events omit crucial information like the place where it’s taking place or the starting time. It could not only affect people’s decision to come, it could also end up costing you a lot of extra time when everyone starts emailing you to get the missing info. Before publishing anything, triple check to make sure everything is actually in there. Ask someone outside the youth ministry to read it through to see if you have forgotten anything. You’ll be amazed what they still find even after you’ve checked it twice!

Communicate enthusiastically

The most effective communication is the one where passion is the driving force. People always spot real passion and it’s contagious. Try to let your passion for what you’re doing shine though in your emails, your invites, your announcements and everything else you do to communicate. It will help ‘sell’ your message like nothing else.