When a teen is walking into your ministry for the first time they are probably wondering, “Will anyone notice that I’m here?”  It’s a scary question to answer because no one wants to be judged or rejected.

If you want teens to give you more than one shot you need to be intentional about your environments and ministry roles by:


Break down barriers by positioning greeters who will ensure teens are in the right place.  A greeter communicates, “We’re glad you are here.”

By positioning people by the door you can also answer questions that a new person has right away.  You can point out where they should go and even what they can expect.


While you don’t want teenagers to fill out an application to walk inside your ministry it’s essential you at least capture their:

  • Name
  • Contact Info
  • Parent’s Name and Contact Info

On top of that try to capture something unique that makes it easy to remember them. It might be a sport they play or the type of music they like.

You can later use this information to connect further with a teen.  And if they feel like you are taking the effort to get to know them they’ll return the investment.


It stinks not knowing anyone.  You feel isolated and begin to wonder what others are thinking of you.  Break down those fears by connecting new students with a friendly adult or teen who wouldn’t mind showing them around.  This way the following week they can look forward to seeing a more familiar face.


During the week make it a part of your schedule to reach out to the teenager (And if possible their parent) to thank them for coming.  If you are too stretched to do this find another adult in your ministry.

Allow them to ask any questions they might have.  Remind them when you meet next and what they can expect.  And don’t hesitate to ask them to bring a friend.

If you want students to come back you have to make sure they feel known.  Take the simple steps to be intentional about your environments and the next generation will gladly return.

How do you connect with new students?