I have never gone hunting in my life, however, as a Youth Pastor I was constantly hunting for the best low-cost, high-impact events. Perhaps this describes you, as well? Well… take this idea, add your own tweaks and consider this is a successful hunt!
What? The Fast Food Formal
When? Anytime (but non-“formal” season is best)
Where? Any/several fast food establishments in your community (McDonalds, Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell, Arby’s, etc.)
Who? Students in your group intentionally asking unchurched friends
Why? Because any of the following three reasons and many more…
- Because everyone likes getting dressed up!The fast food formal gives students the opportunity to get dressed up for the prom without having to spend that kind of cash. In fact, I used the ABC rule for this one.
- “A” Already owned outfit
- “B” Borrowed from a friend
- “C” Coin (change only) purchased (from a thrift store)
- It’s a conversation starter with EVERYONE! Restaurant employees, patrons at the fast food establishments and even the students being reached out to will all ask “why?” This provides a great opportunity to conversationally talk about Jesus.
- Relational connection! Students being reached out to will be able to connect with the greater whole of the youth group. It is proven that people will come back if they feel welcomed and connect with more than the person who brought them.
- 7:00pm Gather and “formal pictures”
- 7:15pm Fast Food Pick-em (groups pick restaurant name out of a hat)
- 7:30pm Chauffeur pick-up
- 7:45pm Fast Food Experience (texting pictures to person back at church)
- 8:15pm Chauffeur return pick-up
- 8:30pm Slide-show, Gospel presentation and Group Dessert
- 9:00pm Conclude
Be sure to train your core students well. Let them know the purpose of this event is not just having fun (though it will be a blast), but to connect with the non-Christian students and any who ask questions. Help them understand how to turn the “why are you dressed up” question into an opportunity to share about Jesus!