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9 Ideas for Getting Students to Turn Forms In On Time

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This post originally appeared on TIM’S BLOG and we thought it was so wonderful that we wanted to share it too!


It’s the cry of most every youth pastor…

“How do I get kids to turn in their registration forms on time?”

Here are some ideas you can try. Some of these are field tested and some of them aren’t. As my dad always jokes, “every man for himself” on this one.

  1. Work to develop a culture of “promptness” and lead time. This begins with you and the leadership in your ministry.
  2. Try offering a reward to the first person to turn in their papers (all signed, payment enclosed and ready to go). Give the reward, in public, as you are actually leaving on the event, not immediately.
  3. Set up a secure box, folder, or mail slot in or near your office door so that people can drop off payments and forms at any time.
  4. If you have the guts, turn a kid away who fails to turn in before the deadline. Hopefully, you wouldn’t have to do this often before they catch on.
  5. To the best of your ability, make every deadline worth it.  Don’t use up valuable space on the calendar trying to get kids to events that you know who matter all that much.
  6. For big events, try a form of intent – something simple that students can fill out and turn in immediately during a regular gathering.  From there, email or send a packet of info to their families with that note attached.  (They of course wouldn’t be obligated, it just might motivate a little more).
  7. Do what you can online and make it easy for parents or leaders to register students.
  8. Set goals or markers. “If we have this many people going to summer camp, I will dye my hair pink.” or “The pastor will shave his head.” or  “I’ll…” whatever would be motivating and fun.
  9. Don’t publicize the event, just quietly distribute the forms one on one, verbally inviting them and asking them not to tell too many people about it.  This reverse psychology might be sort of creepy, but it would be fun to try.

Any other thoughts? What works for you?


tim priceTim Price is the Director of Harvest Ministry Teams, a non-for-profit equipping ministry for young leaders. Based in Troy, IL, Harvest is involved in worship ministry events and training events for students and leaders all over the Midwest. He also serves on staff part-time at Troy United Methodist Church. Tim writes at TIMPRICEBLOG.COM sharing ideas, clarity and insights to help others confidently lead the church they serve. @HMTRESOURCES.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS. 

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