Ticket to Ride!

16 Mar

For the most part, when I post something about youth ministry it is field tested.  I have done it…it worked.  I have done it…don’t ever do it.  I have done it…check out these scars.  One of the ideas floating around in the old noggin that I have never done and I don’t know if it will work is … wait for it…seasons passes.

Allow me to explain ::

We live in a CostCo world.  If I can’t buy 12 of something at a discounted rate then I don’t want any of them.  I love the idea of warehouse stores so much that I bought my wedding ring at CostCo.  (Longer story for another day)  What if we were to sell season passes to our youth ministry with some of the same mentality?  It would work something like this.  We do 10-20 events throughout the year that cost different amounts.

Winter Camp-$200

Summer Camp-$500

Connecting Event (Broomball)-$10

Connecting Event (Amazing Race)-$25

Mission Trip-$100

…you get the point.  If you were to plan your entire calendar for the year and figure out the cost for a family to send a student to everything you would come up with a grand total.  Assuming the above 5 events were the only things my ministry was doing it would cost a student $835 to attend all of them.

What if you offered a 20% (or whatever you could afford as a ministry) discount on the cost of all of the events, and if a parent spends $668 they could go to all of the events for a 20% discounted rate?

The reasons I think I am on to something:

  • Who doesn’t love a discount?  More for less is a good thing.
  • Forces you to plan (and stick to) your events for the year.  I am 6 months into a new job at a new ministry.  This will probably not happen for a year or two until I am sure of what works and what doesn’t.
  • There is a group of students who are bought into an event before you even start to plan for it.  Once you have paid for something there is a willingness to go to it.  You don’t want to waste the season pass.  So you can assume most of the students who bought the pass will be at any given event.  If not then you can be disappointed about their absences with a little extra money in your pocket.
  • You have some seed money for start of the year costs.  All of our deposits are due at the same time and I put our accounting offices into a panic every September.  If your budget was frontloaded by some extra incoming cash, they might not break into a cold sweat every time they saw you coming.
  • This one is a slippery slope…You could give some discounts or other privileges with the pass.  Discounts on shirts, books, or other things you sell.  Maybe front of the bus (or back) seating.  Like I said, this one could get a little dangerous but just a thought.

As mentioned, this is in the beta phase of genius, so I would love your thoughts or why you don’t think it would work.  Maybe you have already tried it and you have some evidence one way or the other.  Please feel free to leave comments or email me at


Posted by on March 16, 2012 in Youth Ministry


4 responses to “Ticket to Ride!

  1. Jeff Dunham

    March 16, 2012 at 9:06 am

    I love the discount idea. But what if you followed Disney’s move and began offering a monthly payment based on an entire years events. If your total was $835, a monthly payment of $70 wouold allow those parents who can’t afford to drop $835 or even $668, or who have multiple childrent. For most families dropping $1336 (for 2) or $2004 (for 3) is unrealistic. But this would allow for them to plan so that their kids could attend all the events. But again most youth ministries don’t plan far enough a head to offer such a plan and if you add or drop an event that cost $ it might comeback and bite you.

    • The Until Matters

      March 16, 2012 at 11:34 am

      Payments was one area I overlooked. Thanks. Totally makes sense to have a budget line item of 1/12 (or a little less after a deposit) on your family budget. Would help to plan on calendar and financially. Thanks again.

  2. Melissa Valentine

    March 16, 2012 at 9:46 am

    I think this is beyond amazing. especially for a family with more than one kid in youth group. why not? As a parent (you know, of a 9 month old)… I’d do it. *side note: I love the wedding ring story. Do tell that one soon. 🙂

    • The Until Matters

      March 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      Thanks. You of all people would know. You still have youth ministry running through your veins and now you are a parent…deadly combo!


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