youth ministry summer

Summer Is For Ministry




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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Summer Planning


What are your plans for the summer?

Summer is a different season in ministry.  I have tried for the past few years to plan events and weekly gatherings only to waste money on events that no one wants to go to.  The students I work with want a different youth ministry schedule, and I offer them that.

Here is what I prioritize during the summer: 

Relationships.  I invest into every student that sticks around.  I get them to help me with the summer VBS at my church.  I meet up with teens for slurpee runs, or for lunch.  Every event I do in the summer is all about relationships.  This is one thing that sets up my youth ministry for the fall.  This summer I want to go around and meet up with all the parents of my youth ministry.

Planning.  I plan everything out in the summer.  I plan every talk, and with that message I work on the complement, and subject of each passage that I will be teaching my group.  This summer I want all the games planned for the year, and the supplies ready.  One thing different this summer is that I will get some core students to help me plan out my year of messages so that I know we are talking about where the students are at.

Development.   I am taking a summer preaching class on wednesdays.  I am looking forward to this, and excited to hone my preaching abilities.  I am also going to try to read a book a week.  I will have another post on all the books I am going to read this summer.

Rest.  I plan on hanging out with my family as much as possible.  Every year at the same time I basically crash and sleep for a few days in order to cope with a brutal ministry year.  I also plan on getting away for a few weekends.


Those the goals of my summer.  What do you prioritize during the summer?  Does your youth ministry slow down? 

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