It is said that you only have one chance to make a good first impression. This is the time of year when the rising freshman are invited to their first Life Night. Take the focus off yourself and dive in and get to know the new teens showing up these days at your parish.
Here are 5 questions that Core members should ask new teens:
1.) What is your name?
The key is asking and remembering the name. Try to have Core members repeat the name at least 3 times out loud when talking to the teen to help remember the teens name. Teens and adults respect people that remember their names.
2.) What school do you go to and what are you involved with at school?
This is a pretty standard question, but important for your Core members to connect new teens to other older teens who already are attending the school they go to. If young teens bond with older teens already attending Life Teen at the parish from their school, the chance of them staying involved increases dramatically after they start attending school in the fall.
3.) What is your family like? Tell me about your family, parents, siblings and what traditions you share?
Teens are sometimes hesitant to talk about family, but often times it is a great starting point. It also lets the teen know that youth ministry at your parish is a family oriented ministry.
4.) What do you like to do for fun?
The most important thing when hearing the answer to this question is not to judge. You will learn a lot about a person by what they choose to do for fun. Take a mental note of what the teens say to this question. It is often a great discussion starter the next time you see this teen.
5.) Why are you here and what are you hoping to get out of being here?
This will let you know if they have been forced to come, if they have been waiting a long time to attend or if they are simply just checking it out. Don’t try to sell them on anything, just listen and thank them for being honest with you.
The key with the above questions is to approach teens by simply talking to teens, not above them. Teens respond to people who are sincere and authentic with them. If you can learn about the new teens attending, you will go a long way to improving relational ministry at your parish. Try this with at least 5 teens in the next week – you might be amazed at how much you will learn!