Changing Things Up: Youth Ministry in Summer

summer-break-glassesDuring the summer we take a break from our weekly programs on the weekends and midweek. We do this on the biblical concept of Sabbath. We do it to give our regular adult volunteers a breather from the weekly preparations and leading, so they don’t get burned out. We also do it to affirm the primary importance of families, giving them the chance to sit together in church, and to encourage more quality time together while the kids are out of school.

In place of our regular programs we simply have weekly events designed around the value of fun and the purpose of fellowship. We want our students to enjoy themselves and have fun events to do and to which they can invite their friends. It’s also a great way to help lower the “threat” or “intimidation” level for students who are making transitions, whether from Kid’s Ministry to Student Ministry, or from Jr. High Ministry to Sr. High Ministry.

I also offer a Bible study in a casual environment for student who would like to intentionally deepen their faith during the summer. I do it late enough in the morning so that students don’t feel like they can’t sleep in (not to mention, because I am not a morning person) – usually at 10am. Last summer I had students join me at a diner and we did a study on the Holy Spirit. This summer I am inviting students to join me at my house for Philippians and Pancakes.

Tomorrow I will write about how volunteer Adult Youth Leaders can maximize their impact over the summer months.

Every summer we experiment and have fun. If you’re in youth ministry, I would love to hear some of the things that you do to change things up in the summer. Share some of your success stories, funny stories, as well as stories about things that were not so successful. 

See Kings X in Concert (Bucket List: Check!)

Last night, after almost 30 years of rocking out to their music, I finally got to see Kings X live in concert. It was awesome introducing my very good friend Don to their legendary music. They were absolutely incredible! They are musicians’ musicians, and it was an honor to experience their music in person. If you love rock and roll, you need to check these guys out!

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Expressing Gratitude for Great Leaders

At the end of each school year, we always take time to thank the great team of adult youth workers who serve students with us. This year we catered a nice dinner, hired a jazz band, and invited our team and their families for a pool party. Good youth ministry is impossible without a team of adults who love Jesus, love students, and love connecting students to Jesus. I am so grateful for the wonderful adults God has surrounded me with to minister to our youth! If you are a lead youth worker, invest in and appreciate your leaders! If you’re going to spoil anybody, spoil your volunteers. They deserve it!

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The Book that Could Cure World Diseases

51K8qhCXQ3L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Jim Gaffigan has done it! He has found the cure for world diseases. OK, not really. But his contribution to the world does bring about healing (just not from food-related diseases). “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). Food: A Love Story is one of the funniest things ever set down on paper. You will laugh your way through the entire book. Do yourself a favor and go buy it. It will indeed bring healing to your soul.