This is one of my favorite times of the year. College football is charging hard, college basketball is right around the corner, hunting season is about to open, and we are about to celebrate two of my favorite holidays – Thanksgiving and Christmas. With all of those great things on the forefront who would be thinking about the summer? Well, if you are a savvy youth pastor then you have already been thinking about and planning your summer. As you know we live in a world that will occupy every day of a student’s life if it’s not protected. The reality is that we want a piece of that time. Not just to occupy their calendar but also to give students an opportunity to experience more of Jesus than they ever have before. Let me give you several reasons why you need to be planning your summer now.
- It will help you view your events more strategically. As a youth pastor you want to think that your events represent more than just something that happens because that particular day or weekend came around. Hopefully you are viewing your events as a strategic tool to help you fulfill the mission that God has given you for your student ministry. If you begin planning now you will have a better chance of viewing your summer with strategic eyes.
- It will help parents plan financially. Something that we might not think about is the financial burden that our student ministry could be placing on our families. If you attend a youth camp during the summer it could cost anywhere from $250-$350. That doesn’t feel too bad when you think about it in isolation but what about those families who have multiple students in your ministry? Is it unreasonable to think that a parent has an extra $1000 sitting around just waiting to be spent on your next event? I would say absolutely! In today’s economy it takes both parents working just to make ends meet. The farther ahead you plan the easier you make it on parents who desperately want their students involved in your ministry but have limited funds to make that happen.
- It will help your students view your ministry enthusiastically. We all have experienced the lulls that can happen in our student ministry year. November through January can be tough to keep the momentum rolling with your students. Planning your summer early allows you to begin promoting and talking about all of the exciting things that are coming in your student ministry. For most of us, our summer events are the biggest times of our year. We see more involvement, more excitement, and God’s movement in incredible ways. Why would we not want to use this to help us create momentum throughout the year? You can if you begin planning your summer now!
We have a great opportunity to provide life changing events that students can be a part of. Help your ministry, help your parents, and help your students by planning your summer now.
This post was written by Jeff Pratt, Director of FUGE Camps