When I was in full-time local church youth ministry my summers were crazy. I was typically away from home at least 5 weeks of the summer, working 24 hours a day. I am always an advocate for youth ministers, especially in the summer. Don’t get an immediate response from a youth minister? That’s because they are working. HARD. And away from home. Summers are busy – that’s how they are designed to be in youth ministry.
There’s definitely a level of expectation to be busy in the summer. While students are out of school, we need to capitalize on their time off by fulling it with as many activities as possible. Camps, mission trips, retreats, day trips, etc. can help build your group and develop deeper relationships with fringe students. Is it right for summer to be so busy? I don’t know. But it is what it is. I never gave it much thought as more than reality until reading this blog post: What’s Wrong with a Busy Youth Ministry Summer?
This article gives great insight on how we can do youth ministry differently by offering summer as Sabbath time. Every youth ministry culture is different, but I bet every youth in your group can benefit from some Sabbath.
Summer is a great opportunity to get students to activities because they are “bored” but it’s also a great time to show them the importance of using time wisely. The busiest of busy students will benefit from break from the chaos of their lives, if they can make it to a gathering or two.
What is summer like for your youth ministry? What would it look like if you inserted more Sabbath into the schedule?