Exams are beginning and some students are already in summer mode. Are you ready for them?
You are probably feeling like you need a break and hopefully you are going to get some holidays but please don’t check out before your vacation week or two.
Here are some of the powerful ways that ministries are maximizing their effectiveness this summer.
1. Maximize Relational Ministry
Teens spell love T.I.M.E –(no wonder they get low grades!) Seriously though, one of the ‘love languages’ that Gary Chapman writes about is “extended time together” I always feel like the greatest breakthroughs in students’ lives have taken place on long bus rides, hikes in the woods, or staring into the embers of a dying fire.
Summer is the time to find ways for these extended times together heading to the lake, theme parks, the woods, or day trips to places in town. This is the time to build relationships with new students and their friends. If there is a lack of leaders available, challenge student leaders, college students, summer interns, or parents to increase the relational ministry.
2. Maximize Outreach
One of my colleagues was known for his city wide summer sports camps run by the church. Whereas other ministries were scaling back in July and August, his was ramping up.
I ran Wednesday afternoon activities in the park where teens reached out to low income students in the housing project where I lived. Each week a new group of students would pray the sinner’s prayer with us and start attending our discipleship group.
What are some outreach activities that your students could run for their friends or community kids this summer?
3. Maximize Discipleship Training
Kevin was a youth pastor in Southern Ontario who challenged a group of 12 students to do something unheard of. He asked them to be part of his book club where they would read 6 books on the area of discipleship in 3 months. The titles included Celebration of Discipline, Ordering Your Private World, Too Busy not to Pray, Practicing the Presence of God, Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret and In His Steps –not simple reads but they actually read them all! Kevin challenged them to live out the principles in the books. Their lives changed a lot in a short time!
If your youth are not into book clubs, what are some enriching experiences to challenge students who are hungry for more this summer?
Not Done Yet…
Your summer vacation is coming but unfortunately your are not done yet. Teens who are not working full time have a lot of time on their hands. If you can change your office schedule to be available for them, you can maximize ministry impact with relational ministry, outreach and discipleship.