Summer has come and gone…again! Ugh. We all love the change of pace that summer brings us, but there is something about getting back into the normal swing of things in the fall that brings a great deal of excitement. Today we wanted to give you a few ideas for your fall kick off.

KickOff* Photo Directory – as students arrive, make sure you get everyone’s picture. Have a small dry erase board or a bunch of strips of paper ready. Have them write their name down (legibly). Write down grade numbers on different pieces of colored paper and hang them on the wall behind where the pictures will be taken. Have students stand in front of the appropriate sign. When you are done taking everyone’s picture (it might be good to do this for 2-3 weeks) put them together in a little directory that you can give to all your volunteers. This way they will get to learn the names of all your students.

* Name Tags – you may not be a fan of name tags, but it is a really good idea to use them your first few weeks. This takes away the embarrassment for a leader who may have forgotten someone’s name that they have known for a while. It also helps everyone for sure know who is who. (The hard part is not letting your eyes drop down when they are looking at you. Then you are busted. Haha.)

* No Inside Jokes – when you use inside jokes that many of your students will laugh, but any first timers will feel totally left out. You don’t want that to happen.

* Put Your Best Foot Forward – use your best game; if you have multiple worship teams, include your best musicians; spend a good amount of time prepping your message. None of this is to fake anyone out, but first impressions mean a lot. They stick. Usually there are new people when you get back into school routine and you want them to see that you care about what you are presenting.

Have fun as you get back into a new routine of youth ministry life.

What kinds of things are you doing for your kick-off?