I started writing notes to students years ago, and found some success with it. it gave me a midweek connection with students, and it was like sending ministry to their houses, something tangible that even their parents could see. some students absolutely loved it- others didn't seem to care much. sometimes I sent letters to students that needed some encouragement- or were there for the first time- but in recent years I've upped that game- and right now at least, I send a handwritten note to every single student (that fills out a card) every single week. is it expensive? it is. is it time consuming? oh yes. does every student care? some really do- and their parents love it too. others, I can't really tell. one student told me that she has kept every one- and receiving a green envelope in the mailbox was the highlight of her week.
some people have been curious about my correspondence with the middle school students at church- and so I thought I'd share how the whole process goes.
it all begins with these "prayer cards." they sit on the chairs in the youth room, and while I'm talking through the announcements, they fill them out and turn them in. a local print shop prints these for me. I don't use them for attendance- only for praying for the students and sending them letters. the students know that if they give me a prayer card, that I'll send them mail.
each envelope gets a stamp on the front, and a stamp on the back.
be awesome today is our motto- its also on the postcards I send. the same print shop that makes the prayer cards makes the postcards.
each envelope is hand addressed and gets a 70 cent stamp. I have to pay extra because of the stuff I put in the envelopes- more on that later- you have to be careful to write out the address clearly, or the mailman will send it back. I get so annoyed when I go to all of this trouble to send someone a note, only to get it sent back. I am shocked at how many middle school students do not know how to spell their street address or know their zip code.