What does your youth ministry look like over the summer?

The youth ministry that I run looks completely different over the summer.  It is exactly the opposite of the school year.  During the school year we are heavy on program, and discipleship.  During the summer we are heavy on relationships, and planning.

A few years ago, my lead pastor asked me to run program over the summer.  It was on of the most frusterating things I have ever done.  I ran cool events, and guess what…no one showed up.  I will never forget losing a ton of money on one youth event during the summer that no one showed up at.  That is when I started to refocus my summer youth ministry strategy.

Here is what I do all summer:

1.  Plan.  I plan out the calendar for the school year.  That means, every sermon series, every game, every event, all planned out.  When I plan out my sermon series I usually just get each talk down to a passage, and a main idea.  I am looking to give these away in the future.  I am still working out how I am going to release each series/talk so that you can still write it, but you will have enough content to write it on your own.

2. Hangout.  I like to spend my summer days out of the office.  I try to spend my days hanging out with students and leaders at starbucks.  I love that in the summer we ditch programs in order to build relationships.  By the end of June I am sick of programs.  I am ready for a new season of ministry.  Ministry is all about people, and summer is time of year that I remember what is important.

3. Holidays.  I take a few weeks off in the summer.  I find that it takes at least 2 weeks in order to unplug from ministry.  During my holidays I unplug and spend time with family.  This summer I want to make the most of opportunities with my wife and kids.

Those are a few things I do during the summer.  It’s refreshing to have a different season in ministry during the summer.  I know that a lot of youth pastors do the exact opposite to me during the summer.  They gear up and go hard during the summer.  It is important that you find what works for your youth ministry.

What is your plan for the summer? 

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