As many already know, our student ministry programming takes a different look in the summer. We do not simply cancel our weekly programs; we just take another approach. There are many reasons behind this. Another youth minister, who serves at a church in Michigan, recently put together some of his thoughts on why they similarly change up their summer plans. Feel free to take a look at that (link here). The main reasons for us relate to the fact that many of our students and adult leaders are gone or have very irregular schedules during the summer months. We also want to give our adults a break from their weekly small group leading/teaching responsibilities. Additionally, the summer is a great time to try new things and for our team to regroup, evaluate, and educate.
This summer we are trying a couple new things. One involves an every-other-week meeting at a home. During these times, we will mainly hang out and catch up with each other. It will also involve some pointed discussion on a particular Biblical topic.
The other new thing we are trying involves Facebook and Twitter. In the past, we have scheduled out every little detail of the summer 3-4 months in advance, and we found that it did not benefit many students. This year, we are changing our approach. Instead, we are going to utilize social media to get the word out about “small” events. For example, our Six Flags and camping trips are still scheduled in advance, but events like a swimming party or going out for ice cream will be announced just a few days in advance. Students and parents can follow us on Facebook and Twitter for these announcements, even having them sent to their cell phone automatically. As with everything, we will evaluate and see how it goes, but we felt it is worth trying. Students are used to making small plans the day-of with their friends anyhow, so this should not be much of a change from their normal way of life.