I got an email from a youth worker asking for some guidance. He’s feeling the holiday pinch concerning the engagement and attendance of his students. So I sent him my response and thought I’d share it with all of you since we are all in the same boat one way or another this time of the year.
You need to know that the holiday pinch is normal and felt by every ministry. The holiday season is a time for the family, so families are going to do a lot of family orientated things. Students are also taking finals before break so they are studying like crazy. Then there’s winter break so families are vacationing.
There are two things you can do during this time of ministry. One of those things is to do nothing, and just let things be the way they are. The other thing would be to take advantage of this slower time of ministry. So here are seven ways you can take advantage of this slower time of the year:
- Use this time to spend more time with your family. Use this time to get back some of the time you spent staying late, staying overnight, going in early and/or coming home late.
- Use this time to invest and hangout with the faithful few who show up to youth group. You could use this time to strengthen and build up your core students.
- Use this time to strategize the new year. You can launch a new name for your youth group, new ministry opportunities, you can create new activities that students can bring their friends to. You can use this time to look to the future.
- You can take advantage of the fact that families want to do things together. Create something for the family. Last year we started doing a Christmas play, and it’s one of our largest attended things we do. Our audience is filled with parents, family friends, and new students. It’s easy to invite someone to a Christmas play, and it keeps the momentum going.
- You can use this time to do some much needed training with your staff and volunteers.
- You can also use this time to celebrate your staff and volunteers.
- You can strategically use this slow season as a time to engage the families that are coming out to church for the holiday season only. Maybe beef up your presence at big church. Let those families know that you exist and the things you offer.
Hope it helps,