I can see it coming already. Sometimes you realize that events are a bust when the doors open. This time I know it’s going to be poorly attended already a few days out. This Friday is the perfect storm of school dances, homecoming games and birthday parties that compete with a small group fellowship game night. Even the guys from my own small group students aren’t coming because of a school dance. These scheduling conflicts are things I didn’t know about when we put the calendar together months ago. I was really excited about this event. We really felt like it was creative and risky and would be a great way to give our small groups ownership and community.
In the midst of the discouragement. I am finding joy and contentment because I know that this just one event…one of hundreds I’ve put on over the years. Most of which I can’t really remember. Some of them were amazing and some were busts. When facing the reality of a flop event remember these things.
I’m glad we took a risk. Once a year I like to try an event we’ve never done before. It’s easy to do the old standard events year after year, but innovation and imagination aren’t sparked that way. The moment you stop trying new ideas is the moment you stop growing as a leader. Sometimes the risk will pay off big time, other times they will flop. You’ll never discover the great ideas unless you are willing to risk the flop. This week I was blindsided by something I didn’t even think about (school dances). Next time, I will remember to ask when they are. It’s a lesson I can learn for our next calendar.
“Where is everyone?” NEVER, EVER ASK THIS QUESTION to students at an event. This will give the impressions to the kids who DID show up that it’s OTHER kids who are important. A wise person reminded me long ago that God always brings students into our ministry who need to be there. The students at who show up at a low turnout event are the ones that God wants you to be minister to. Don’t think about who didn’t show up. Think about the ones who did!
Bring the energy anyway. It’s tempting to phone in the energy level when there is a low turnout for an event. Less kids = less effort. As a leader this is death. It’s not fair to the students who did come the event and a bad example for your leaders. I’ve found that you can turn a flop into a success simply by bringing my best energy and excitement along with me.
So when the doors open Friday night I’m going to bring my best energy, be thankful for who shows up and be glad we took a risk. It’s a choice all of us can make when faced with a flop event.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/LibickHawaiiChristmasPhoto.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info]Kevin Libick is a Middle School Pastor living in Fort Worth, TX with his wife Kara and her two cats. He is a novice banjo picker and expert Hawaiian food eater. Kevin loves to connect with other youth workers and equip them to live out their calling in God’s Kingdom. Connect with Kevin on Twitter: @kevinlibick[/author_info] [/author]