If your youth ministry is anything like ones I have been involved with things start to look and feel different when spring arrives.
Maybe its when the warm weather begins? Maybe it is the involvement in sports? Maybe it’s seniors looking forward to college? One thing is for sure we have all found ourselves noticing that attendance and momentum have drastically changed from February when everything was at the yearly high.
This is not something to flip out about; it is an expected norm for many ministries. If you know it is coming you can factor it into the equation and plan for it as you approach the warm weather blah’s.
Here are 3 thoughts to help you as you transition…
1) FINISH STRONG
One thing our ministry is committed to is finishing the year with the same momentum we had in the fall. If students know there are only so many nights left before summer it gives a sense of urgency and begins to naturally switch gears as life transitions to summer.
2) DON’T FIGHT SUMMER, USE IT TO CHANGE THE PACE AND LOOK OF YOUR MINISTRY
A change in schedule means that there should be a change of gears. In our ministry we purposely try to land the plane for springtime so we finish strong. We tell parents that we are not shutting our ministry down in the summer but we definitely switch the makeup of what we do. We stop our Wednesday nights (our big night). Not everyone would agree with this but here is why we do it.
- It gives our ministry volunteers a break and chance to refresh.
- It makes sure what we do week-to-week does not get old to students. There is demand and excitement when we start back up in the fall.
- Because of vacation, sports, and summer laziness we would not be able to keep up the expectations we have created during the year. I am ok with that because I see many
Summer has a different look but the same goals. During the summer our ministry has goals that we still want to see happen and we find other ways to do that. We have done in home bible studies run by student leaders, we have done a summer leadership institute with intense teaching and service, as well as a summer student worship service on Sunday mornings.
Have that pool party, teach outside…those options are not always available.
3) USE SUMMER TO INVEST IN STUDENT LEADERS AND RERUIT ADULTS
Summer is also the time to get your students away and charge them up to tackle another year of ministry. I love to see new leaders and new vision spring up from summer. We do summer trips that are to take students to the next level in their walk. We offer a level one trip to run a camp in inner city Philadelphia. We encourage students to go on Operation Barnabas for level two. We also offer an opportunity to counsel at middle school camp as well as an international trip and attending a conference.
Summer is also the time that we step back and evaluate and plan our entire year. Decide what your vision is and than get the people on board to do it. Take someone out to lunch and tell him or her why he or she can make a difference in a student’s life.
Hope this helps, as you get closer to the season of pool parties, music festivals, and camp.