In the marketing world, there is a goal to communicate who you are in five seconds or less. Nowhere is this more evident than in the brands that market to teenagers. Great effort, billion of dollars, and an unbelievable amount of brain power go into creating brands that capture their attention in this tiny fraction of time.
Marketers know the teenagers they are after have incredibly short attention spans, and their product or idea has a tiny window of time to grab their attention. In a crowded world of ideas and products, marketers get it that they have a small chance of surviving without the ability to grab attention. Marketer Peter Dunn states that each product or idea has to be viewed as authentic (products either have it or they don't. You can spot a fake from miles away), inviting (offering the consumer a chance to interact with this new gadget or thing), and casual (the business suit for today's market is jeans, and they don't view their jeans as casual).
In the world of youth ministry there are lessons for us to learn contained in this marketing idea. Here are just a few.
- First encounters make or break — You and I bump into to students every day. What if we only had five seconds to engage a student's attention? Would your first impression be authentic? Remember, students can spot a fake!
- The first thing you say helps you win — Stop wasting words. If multi-million dollar-marketing concepts care about their finely honed presentations, how much more should we? Do whatever you must do to prepare your talks and Bible studies. Be intentional. Be direct. Communicate your message clearly and effectively.
- The environment matters — When was the last time you asked someone to walk in your student ministry room, building or environment and asked them to tell what they saw during the first 5 seconds? First impressions matter. You make a huge statement with the care or lack of care you put into environment.
- Personal quiet time. — What about your first five (or 35, in this case)? In Mark 1 we see this great picture of Jesus going to be alone even before the sun came up. He understood that to be ready for his day of ministry, He had to get ready for it, receive instructions, get wisdom, and hear from His Father. His personal first five mattered.
If your public impressions are going to make eternal impact, your private time of devotion must be a priority. God has given you a chance to be light and love in this consumer-istic, driven, short attention span having world of student ministry . . . What you do with it has eternal consequences! Your first five matter!
- What are some tips on how to prepare for a talk or time of Bible Study to maximize your time and intentionality?
- What are some tips on creating a youth environment that show you care about your students' experience?
What else is on your mind? We want to hear from you . . .