Youth Work is a very dynamic and interesting vocation. The process of relating with young people, hearing their stories, and helping them find their way through this life, is enough to encourage a youth minister's heart. But then, in order to avoid stereotyping the youth and putting them in a box that does not really describe them, research is also needed. Basic research therefore is needed so that the youth minister would be able to understand the youth and minister to them effectively.
Although our organization are sponsoring a number of events for young people, the attendance in the past two months have not been very good. This might have been because of poor programming or some other reasons like school or work commitments and other matters. To determine the reasons behind the poor attendance of our events, I decided to conduct a short research regarding the preferences of young people and what they are looking for in a program or event so that our events can cater more to their needs and their concerns.
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To undertake this research, I have decided to talk with several young people and devise a research strategy that could generate significant results. As part of the strategy, I designed a questionnaire that I use in interacting with young people to identify a better way of programming or involving youth in our youth organization events. There were about 20 young people who were the targets of this research undertaking. They are the target audience of our events and programs. This way, we would certainly come to understand their interests and their pursuits so that we can easily adjust our programming and our strategy in reaching out to these young people.
The questions we wanted to ask young people are: (1) What activities do you enjoy doing? Would you want these activities included in our youth events? (2) What makes an enjoyable and meaningful youth event? (3) How can the organization help you become a better person? (4) What types of games do you want to play during youth group activities? (5) How do you envision the organization to be an effective minister to you?
Based on my talk and my sessions with the young people, a lot of them said that they could relate so much with the language being used by the organization. Apparently, there is a gap in the communication process so they cannot maximize their participation in the events sponsored by the organization. More than that, they do have various work and school commitments that prevent them from attending these events. Additionally, they do not see the need to attend these events and they would rather earn money or socialize with their friends rather than attending such events.
Given these findings, in order for the youth events to be patronized by more youth, the language in the invitations and in the programs of the events. With a more youthful language, the young people's interest will be enhanced as a result. For the events to be well-attended, we should also stoke the interests of young people so that they themselves would promote the events to their friends through word-of-mouth advertisements. More than that, however, the content of the talks and the activities in the programs should be relevant to the lives of young people. That is the most important aspect of the events being sponsored for them.
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