By Tim Price
In many ways, summers can still be carefree for students. Of course, there is some travel and sports, but not every student is gone every day.
Summer months provide a great opportunity to build relationships, form community, be out a bit later, enjoy some warmer weather activities and help keep students connected.
The mission trip, summer camp and regular ministry opportunities are on the calendar – that’s great! But have you thought about these simple ideas to maximize summer?
It doesn’t have to break your budget, and it doesn’t have to be all on you. It can be your ministry team, volunteers, small group leaders or interns working to connect this summer!
- Lunch or Ice Cream
Set a day and time, pick a local restaurant or ice cream place, and let students know you’ll be there. Everyone can buy their own, hang out, have lunch and it’s a great way to bring a friend along, too!
- Late Night at Church
Plan a late night event – following a student ministry meeting or other event at church. The late night could be some games, food or a movie. End at a decent hour and send everyone home. This is another great way to invest in community and relationships.
- Event T-Shirts
Order some t-shirts with a summer theme scripture or a list of ministry events and dates coming up in the school year. You can give these away or sell them.
- Summer Small Group Series
Create a special small group for the summer. Maybe a girls group or a guys group. Maybe a special discipleship meeting with some student leaders a few mornings during the summer. Maybe you can do a fun/light series for your regular student ministry meetings.
Another fun thing might be to give away an “attendance” prizes each time your student ministry meets in the summer. You can easily get donations of gift cards or other cool stuff to give away.
- Social Media Series
Create a summer hashtag and do a fun series on social media. Ideas might include interviewing a different student each week, interviewing and posting a picture one of your leaders each week, or maybe a contest of the craziest pictures from students all summer. Pick a hashtag to keep things unified and keep people sharing.
- Serve Together at VBS (Or Other Special Event)
Is there a way to serve together at your church this summer? Some student ministry groups assemble to help with VBS or other kids camp. Sign up your students and then go out to lunch together after the last day.
- Meet With The Pastor
Make a plan to meet with the pastor during a summer special event. Maybe it could be an ice cream party at the pastor’s home or an invitation for the pastor to come talk with the student ministry some Sunday evening.
Does your pastor have a hobby or interest that could be shared with the group? Some day during the summer is a great time for students to see an informal side of the church leadership.
Tim Price is the director for Harvest Ministry Teams, a non-for-profit ministry in the Midwest with a mission to help the church make disciples, www.harvestministryteams.com. He is also a writer and ministry leader helping churches gain ideas, clarity, and insights to confidently lead.