youth worker, youth ministry, freebie

Freebie Culture

By Doug Franklin November 23, 2010

There are some things I like about freebies and some things I don’t. I like freebies when they are resources because they allow youth workers a chance to tryout a new ministry. I also like that they help smaller ministries, because often times these groups live off free resources that work. However, I don’t like freebies when they are gifts for youth workers. In these cases freebies are used to entice youth workers to buy a product or trip not based on the effectiveness of the product or trip but based on the free gift the youth worker receives. Is it smart for me to spend $20,000 on a brand new car because they’ll offer my wife a free day at the spa, or do I want to buy the car because they’ll let me test drive it for free, allowing me to discover the quality of the vehicle? Too often we as youth workers will sign our kids up for an experience or a missions trip because the organization gives us free gifts, but this doesn’t make sense. If you wouldn’t do this with a new car, why are we willing to do it with students’ lives? I say scrap the free gifts and put the marketing dollars into making the resources and trips better. This culture of freebies is getting out of hand. Too many organizations think it’s the only way to get a youth worker’s attention. You know what would get my attention? Quality resources, services and trips that are transformational in the lives of students.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More