In the U.S., fall is right around the corner. It’s the time when our youth ministry starts to ramp back up and we hit the ground running. So that must mean that during summer we slow down, relax, and take a break from any real work, right?
Summer is a unique time to be proactive, not reactive. We use this opportunity to deep-dive into Switch, our youth ministry, and see where we can improve and create success going forward. Whether or not your church uses Switch content, these prep tips will help you make the most of summer.
Develop Your Leaders
Even though Switch takes a break during summer, it’s important to stay engaged with your core group of leaders. This can be as simple as getting together to do a Bible study or discussing an episode from a leadership podcast. Staying involved with your leaders will prepare them and you to hit the ground running in the fall. Don’t let relationships grow dormant just because it’s summer. Send cards, meet for coffee, or send an encouraging text at regular intervals. Put it on your calendar, and it will be easy to do.
Revisit System Planning
This summer, examine which of your systems work well and which can be improved. Don’t continue to do things the same way just because that’s how they’ve always been done. This is a season for implementing new ideas or incorporating changes that may be happening church-wide or that will make your ministry stronger. If you’re thinking about reworking your leadership structure, changing the flow of the experience, improving guest services, or more—now is the time to do it!
Switch exists for students, but it cannot exist without great leaders. To recruit well, you need to have the mentality that the best leaders might not be serving yet. After you’ve identified people who are already high-capacity leaders in their everyday lives, recruit them and share the vision of where God is leading your ministry.
Stay Engaged with Parents
As summer is wrapping up, it’s a great time to get students, leaders, and parents excited for what’s to come for fall. Start developing your strategies now, because having intentional conversations during the weekend can energize both parents and students about what God is doing through your ministry. With Switch, we want to build relationships with students, but we also want to support parents. Parents can be the biggest influence on a student’s life, so our goal is to know them and create a team of leaders who make it their mission to promote Switch and invite both students and parents.
Continue to Lead Strong on the Weekends
While much of our focus shifts to prepping for fall, summer is also a time that we continue to support other ministries in our church. We do this is by recruiting and training student-aged volunteers to serve during the weekend experiences. This allows students to stay engaged, develop leadership skills, and be a part of the life change that happens when we serve God and His Church. We’ve actually found that some of the best volunteers in our kids ministries are Switch students!
These are the strategies that are working well for us, and you’ll likely find them helpful whether or not you use Switch content in your youth ministry. And if you haven’t tried Switch yet, summer is a great time to learn all about the program and dive into all the free resources available on Open Network.
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