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108 days…that’s roughly what our summer break is in our school districts. Between summer camps, personal vacations, and hang time with students out of school, the summer can feel like chaos.

That’s why I don’t do any big picture for the new school year in the summer. None. I do my planning in the spring. Here are two reasons why this works for me and for our ministry setting.

Cushion to Think Longer

The spring isn’t as crammed with back-to-back summer camps and events, so the spring has more time for my team and me to really process some thoughts on changes we’d like to make. We have more time to dialogue and brainstorm. We don’t feel as stuck to a time line before the new school year starts, and we feel we can all embrace the changes more because of the amount of time we’ve had to talk them out.

Tweak-ability
If we do a lot of big picture planning and brainstorming in the spring, the summer allows us to tweak ideas as we pray, test the waters with students’ opinions, and move from brainstorm to actuality. If our brainstorm is a skeleton, then the tweaking allows us to start adding flesh to the skeleton. The summer tweak isn’t labor intensive. Its small adjustments and ideas that get added or taken away since we’ve been talking.

I know not every ministry setting or season will give you the ability to plan in April what will happen in September through May. But if you can try to start your planning a little farther out, I hope it’ll allow you the freedom to enjoy the process more than dread it.

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