Saturday, April 18, 2009

Youth Ministry in the Summer

One of the difficulties I've had in youth ministry is figuring out what to do in the summer. I've been here for 7 years and EACH year ... whether we had 10 kids or 200 kids our numbers have dropped significantly in the summer. For instance, last year we would typically run 150 between middle and high school. In the summer, and I mean, as soon as school was out, we dropped to 50 kids. I haven't been able to figure out if it's just the nature of the "beast" or if it's something I'm doing.

Right now we drop our normal Wednesday night programming. We still meet, but we combine middle and high school throughout the summer. I've found that we lose a little bit of momentum during the summer months and it's usually a month in to the school year before I don't feel that way about axis any longer. Tentatively, here is an overview of what I'm planning to do this summer:

1. Keep our small groups meeting. I'll definately encourage my small group leaders to meet with their kids twice a month.

2. Have a "typical" axis meeting the first Wednesday of every month, but keep middle and high school combined for the summer.

3. Use the Link once a week for grade specific "community" building activities.

4. Keep in touch with ALL axis students throughout the summer through texting and facebook.

5. Be very intential with our student leaders ... taking them on local outreach events, getting them to serve in various ways, and meeting with them regularly. We'll also use the summer to plan for the fall.

6. Of course, go to the Momentum Conference.

7. Be spontaneous.

What am I missing? If anyone has any thoughts on what you do in your youth ministry, I'd love to know.

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