One of the best parts about summer time is the fact that after work, there are still several hours of daylight! This means hanging in the backyard with my family, playing a late round of golf, or heading to the beach to catch a few waves. It also means a better opportunity to spend time with students. Take advantage of the extra daylight in your ministry. Here’s an idea: Move your entire midweek program outside for the summer! Whether you stay on campus, meet at a park or head to somebody’s house for a pool party, take advantage of the extra daylight.
I’m always surprised at how many of our students sit around all day long during the summer. They channel surf, hang out online or play video games. Certainly some of them love this daily routine, but for most junior highers it gets old by the second week of summer. Because they are so bored, it doesn’t take much on your part to provide an attractive alternative! An afternoon of bowling, flying kites in the park, a water balloon fight at the church etc. are all super simple things you can plan for your students. Tip: the key to planning these types of events is to allow students to show up spontaneously (don’t make them register ahead of time etc.) and to plan things that are just as fun for 2 kids as they are for 22.
I know this one sounds weird….that I actually like it when attendance goes down, but it’s true! Now, I wouldn’t like it if attendance went down and stayed down, but a few months out of the year with a few less kids at church is actually a neat opportunity. I realize that this a ‘big church’ thing, but some of you are in big churches that attract lots and lots of students to your program. Take advantage of smaller summer attendance by doing things that feel more personal and help students get to know each other better. Allowing for longer discussion times, planning more intentional ice-breakers and mixers or purposely starting late and ending early so students can hang out are a few ways to take advantage of smaller attendance.
7th Graders (or 6th graders if you are a middle school program)
Summer is such a great time to get to know the students who just moved into your junior high program from your children’s ministry! The first 3 months of their junior high experience really will help set them up for the next 2-3 years. Look for creative ways to make sure you and the rest of your team gets to know the newbies.
It’s . . . Well, It’s Summer!
I love just about everything about summer. Short pants, flip-flops, sun tans, Bar-B-Q’s, lemonade stands, lazy days, no school…just to name a few. I don’t know what your personal and ministry plans are for this summer, but I pray it is your best summer yet!