The Levert Summer Ministry Survival Guide
The ministry life is year-around-busy, and summer often puts an already activity-driven lifestyle into full-on beast-mode busy. Below are some of our “do’s” and “don’ts” for surviving the summer ministry schedule.
- DO work hard and play hard. Work as if you are working for the Lord, but when the work is done — play hard! Don’t let the only time you play be when you’re working with students. If you are fortunate enough to have comp time or days off, USE THEM! Your soul needs playtime, your family needs play time, and your family needs to see you playing hard.
- DON’T be a multi-slacker. The reality of the student ministry summer schedule requires multi-tasking, not multi-slacking. Failing to manage your work time well takes from family time in an already busy season. Protect your personal time during the summer by taking fewer “ministry” lunches, getting started on that camp project that you’ve been avoiding, or spending less time on social media “connecting with students.” Everything in summer ministry is important, but not everything is essential. Focus on the essential so you can get home and be on time for family dinner. Your family is both essential and important.
- DO bring home swag. If you have to be away from your family for camp or a mission trip, bring home swag. Free stuff makes everything better! Order a few extra shirts in kids sizes. And if your kids are young enough, even the brochures in the “What to do in Chicago” rack are better than nothing!
- DON’T be a grump. In ministry, there is always something to complain about: student behavior, staff relations, church member woes, the summer schedule… but complaining always distracts from ministry. Amazing things can happen in your youth ministry if you choose to not be grumpy. Let summer be a time when you shine, not whine.
- DO be “up” for your family in some of your between-the-events downtime. Fatigue is real, so take time to rest your mind, body, and soul. Finding time for quiet is vital if you’re going to survive summer. But friends, once your Sabbath is over, give your family some “up” time. Give your family your first offerings of attentiveness and energy by treating them better than you treat your students.
- DON’T forget about Jesus. Your camp plans are lacking and your words are empty if you allow the business of summer to drive you away from Jesus. Stay close to Jesus so your family and your students can see him in you.
- DO breathe in the goodness of summer. Some of your students are going to make life-changing decisions with Jesus this summer. Take a moment and breathe it in. We are called to ministry for moments like these. Don’t miss out on the goodness of the Kingdom life.
What are your secrets to surviving the summer?