One night after club our newest YL leader asked me how it compared with a typical club. "Was it better than normal, average, or not quite as good?"
I turned to one of my high school friends and asked, "What do you think, Chris?"
His response surprised me.
"I think it was my favorite club ever, but probably because I got to help lead it and be involved in pulling it off instead of just sitting in the crowd. Last year I never realized how much work went into making club happen, but now that I'm helping lead music and with sound and stuff, its just cool to see behind the scenes."
I'm terrible at delegation. I'm a procrastinator. And I typically would rather just do something myself than ask for help. That combination doesn't make it easy to include my high school friends in helping lead club, but I'm learning that's it worth it.
Brian Summerall says it this way: "Why do seniors stop coming to club? Because they are tired of sitting there. We have made them consumers of a product rather than producers of change. I would argue that even seniors that do not know Christ long to be a part of something significant... it’s what they were made for. What they do not know yet is that as they engage in the process, they will meet Jesus along the way."
Producers Rather Than Consumers
8 ways your high school friends can take ownership.
Find kids who own nice cameras and love taking pictures, they exist. If you can't find anyone, go to the yearbook class at the high school and ask for volunteers. Ask them to shoot pics before and during club, instructing them to not be distracting, especially by taking pics during the talk. Get them to post the pics online (that same night if possible) and tag their friends. You can also ask them to make a slide show of the best pics and have that running as kids enter club to music each week.
Ask who owns a nice digital video camera and see if they'd be willing to shoot some footage during club each week. Even an iPhone works pretty good. With current video editing software, its fairly easy to edit that footage down to 1-2 minutes, so each week at club, you show quick highlights from the previous week. At semester's end, add those together to have a 10 minute semester in review. Who doesn't love seeing themselves on the big screen?
One of my high school friends spent HOURS creating & editing a few videos for our first club. He made one incredible 3 minute video that we'll play probably every other week that runs through our basic announcements that don't change from week to week. (Subscribe to the Text Message Group, follow on social media, fall camp dates, etc...). He also created a video of highlights from last year that helped all the first timers get a good picture of what a year of club might look like. The kids LOVED it!
The YL Club Band
It takes way less time to just do music yourself. But....we had just two band practices in the two weeks prior to first club and over ten kids came to each one. It was fun hang out time with them, and they got to be on stage at club. You think they invited their friends to come hear them play music? You betcha. You think we had new kids come up to us after first club asking if they could be in the band. Yeppers. Here's some other ideas on starting a club band.
Invite seniors to be the ones running the club card table. Get seniors to pass out announcement info sheets and camp flyers as kids are leaving club. Cast a vision for them to be the hosts, welcoming new comers and thanking them for coming. If you have drinks or snacks before club, invite kids to be the ones serving those. Also ask upperclassmen to be the ones running outdoor yard games.
AV Crew (Audio/Video)
It's awesome to have some tech savvy detail oriented teenagers running your sound, lights, slides, videos, etc... Ask the right people, train them well, and thank them for being a HUGE help behind the scenes.
Why not have high schoolers run games as skit characters. Kids love seeing their friends make fools of themselves. Set them up well by having extensive practice. Help them get great costumes, the right intro music, the props they need, and picking the right volunteers. "The best way to raise up a leader is to assign them a task and help them succeed." -John Maxwell
We ask all our seniors to make a tunnel for the kids to enter through and exit club. It's a fun tradition that gives the seniors ownership.