3 Essentials for Better Youth Ministry T-Shirts

3 Essentials for Better Youth Ministry T-Shirts

There are so many times that I’ve been asked about the t-shirts I’m wearing. People aren’t saying negative things about my shirts. Just the opposite, in fact.

They’re asking about what they mean. That’s a good thing, especially when you’re trying to design a t-shirt for your ministry that students (or adult volunteers) will actually wear.

So, there are three essentials to keep in mind when you’re designing your next youth ministry t-shirt. That’s what I share in this video…

If want to skip the video altogether, here’s a quick summary of the 3 essentials:

1. Clean Design

You want the design of your shirt to be clear and readable. That doesn’t mean it has to be minimal; it just means that your designer needs to keep from loading it up with small print that someone can’t read from a distance. Think about the billboards you see when you’re driving down the highway. The ones that say more with less are the ones that get your attention. The same thing is true for t-shirts.

2. Positive (or Intriguing) Message

Honestly, no one will be happy about wearing a shirt that comes across as negative or judgy. You might print them, but your students (hopefully) won’t wear them. Instead, the shirts that people will actually wear are the ones that have a positive message. For instance, the shirt that I’m wearing in the video above says: “Give, Serve, Love.” It’s a positive message that most people embrace, even if they don’t agree with how I (or the church) live out that message.

Another t-shirt that I have that people always ask questions about is one that has an intriguing statement on it. The shirt simply reads: “Best Night of the Week.” People seem compelled to ask about it. “What’s the best night of the week?” The shirt was made to kick-off a new high school ministry at my church, so I share with them about a space where local high school students come together and talk about things that really matter in life. The response is always positive.

3. Comfortable Material

This is the deal-breaker for so many t-shirts. They’ve checked the first two boxes (they’ve got a clean design and a positive message), but they try to save a few dollars when they get their shirts printed. That’s a big mistake. Why? Because if your shirts aren’t comfortable, people won’t wear them! That’s counterproductive (not to mention a waste of money). So, spend the extra money and get shirts that are made of soft, quality material that people will be happy to wear.

What do you think?

Is there an essential that you think I’ve left off?
Don’t be shy. Let me know in the comments below!

Suggested Resource

cover for Building a Better Youth Ministry

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Trevor Hamaker (DMin, McAfee School of Theology) is an author, adjunct professor, and youth ministry coach. He helps youth pastors see their potential, develop their skills, and reach their goals.

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