Summer: A Good Time for New Relationships
By: Randy Fields
Summer provides a multitude of opportunities for church ministry. Students are out of school and looking for things to do. Families go on vacations to a variety of destinations. Every day, the malls, beaches, pools, local hangouts, and family rooms with video-game systems are full of students.
With so many options for students, we often fail to keep up with the relationships we have been building with them during the school year. Before you throw in the towel and put those relationships on hold for the summer, consider some ways to keep those relationships going and to reach students and their families.
To ensure that every youth is personally contacted each week, simply divide the number of students in your class by seven. Write out the names of the student on a calendar for the week and then make it a point to contact that student personally. If you have a large youth ministry, encourage your leaders to join you in this effort.
Where in the World?
Rally 'Round the Summer
Such an emphasis also can provide opportunities to reach new students before the school year begins. Don't take the summer off from Bible study just because students are out of school.
Training and Time Off
During the month, encourage and guide your substitute teachers. Provide training opportunities as well as words of affirmation. Then ask substitutes whether they might be interested in continuing to work with teenagers. If so, start new classes and expand your vision. If not, you have trained some great substitute teachers for the year when teachers are ill or out of town. Either outcome is a winning situation for you and your students.
Jump Start on Fall
Place the names of new students on your calendar and begin making some personal contacts with them. Design a bag full of goodies for all upcoming youth. Enlist a few other students to go with you and personally deliver the cookies. Make appointments with parents to let them know of your excitement about their students being involved.
Invite new students to the going-away activity for seniors, and allow them to see the relationships that have been with those who are leaving. Allow new students to see that they are part of a legacy.
Summers can and will be busy times, but they can be incredibly beneficial to reaching and nurturing kids for the kingdom of God. It takes effort and planning on our part, but the benefits far outweigh the work. Happy summer!
Randy Fields is a former youth minister and is currently lead pastor at New Covenant Baptist Church in Grass Valley, California. This article is courtesy of Lifeway Christian Resources, www.lifeway.com.