Yesterday I wrote about why we change things up in the summer, pausing our regular weekly programs and offering fun events and a different discipleship venue. One of the reasons we stop our regular weekly programs is to give our adult leaders a break from the grind of prepping and leading lessons and so forth. BUT, that doesn’t mean they should totally disengage from students. Here are 10 ways adult youth workers can have an impact on students during the summer.
- Go to camp or on a missions trip with students. One week at camp or on the mission field can offer as much (if not more!) relational time with students than a full year of seeing kids once a week for Bible study, or before and after service.
- Attend summer events. For us, most of our summer events are designed to be fairly low-prep and to simply have fun together. As far as discipleship, I personally lead our summer Bible study. As such, adult leaders can simply come and be with students without the burden of prepping and facilitating.
- Lead summer events. If you happen to be an adult with the extra time on your hands during the summer, why not volunteer to help lead one or two or ten of the events.
- Champion summer events. Probably 75 percent of our summer events are planned for the evenings, but a couple of them do happen during the day. That inherently means many of our adult leaders can’t attend because of work. When that is the case, adults can still serve and have impact by championing what is happening with students. Shoot the kids a text and encourage them to attend, share the event on social media, etc.
- Take a student out for ice cream. Who doesn’t like ice cream during the summer? Whether ice cream, frozen yogurt, Italian ice, or (we’ll even expand it to …) coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert … take a few students out one-on-one. They will never forget it! I even offer to reimburse our leaders. (If you’re one of my leaders, I am reminding you of this.)
- Take some students to the beach. If you’re inland, take them to the lake or river or pool or water park. While you’re driving and hanging out, engage them in conversation about God.
- Have students over for a BBQ. Why not invite a handful of students to your home and grill out? Perhaps they’ve never been to your home. This is a great way for students to see you in another context. Plus, who doesn’t love grilling out in the summer?
- Do one-on-one mentoring with a core student. If your schedule permits, and you have the passion to do it, invite one or two of your core students to meet you for a Bible study or for mentoring in an area of their life over the summer. One thing I like about summer is that kids have more availability to meet during the day. Perhaps they can meet for breakfast once a week.
- Send notes. I am a big fan of snail mail. Everybody loves to get something in the mail. Whether it’s a card in the mail, a message on Facebook, a pic on Instagram, an e-mail, a text … pray for your students, then send them a little something to let them know you are praying for and thinking about them during the summer. Encourage them to be connecting and growing, and let them know you are cheering for them.
- Grow Yourself. Invest in your own spiritual growth and development so that you have more to offer students. Pick a book to read at the beach or on vacation that will help you grow in God and as a leader. Listen to a leadership podcast while you’re driving to Florida.
One thought on “10 Ways Youth Leaders Can Have Impact During Summer”