Summertime with students is so unpredictable. Some kids have way more time in the summer months, while others, because of jobs, camps and family vacations are even harder to get hold of. We thought it might be helpful to put together a few ideas as you think through some summer plans:
- Evaluate your year. Invite several of your leadership students to spend a Saturday morning or afternoon with you to evaluate what happened in and through the ministry last year. Evaluate at least these areas: spiritual growth of Christians, did new leadership emerge, were our outreaches creative, did they draw new people, did anyone trust Christ through our ministry, were our meetings relevant and interesting, did they draw non-believers, do we have enough manpower to get done what the Lord has given us a vision for, do we have a campus focus to our ministry, do we need more adult community support, who are the students we need to invest in for future leadership, what basic training do our students need (evangelism, testimony, Bible Study skills, etc)? More
- Plan a “Head Start” weekend retreat for the week before school starts or shortly after school begins. In order for movement to happen in a ministry, it requires that a group of people share common desires and know where they are heading. A student retreat with key adult leadership will give students ownership of the ministry by allowing them to give input into the direction and philosophy of the ministry planning. Give some thought to major outreaches to trust God for during the year, set prayer goals, and make a “most wanted” list (kids you want to see come to Christ). Who else could you ask to join you in your campus outreach? More
- Because student availability is so uneven over the summer, we have to maximize the time we spend with them. Look for teachable moments with them, even if it is only for a brief time. Give them tips on personal devotional ideas for the summer, and ask them to spend some time with you one on one. If there is something you want to challenge them to do in the fall, ask them to use the summer to spiritually prepare themselves.
- Summer is a great time to train kids in personal evangelism. With school out of session, there are students everywhere to share the Lord with. Take your disciples out one at a time to model evangelism with them. This could be just what your disciples need to take their next major step of growth as campus missionaries. The gocampus.org website has many surveys you can use to initiate with students. Your friendly coach can also get you some great evangelism tools and training. More
- Summer is a great time to try some creative prayer strategies. Summer often finds kids staying up late into the nights, without homework. Try some late-night pizza and prayer nights at students’ houses. Meet at 10 pm to pray, have some pizza and watch a movie. That’s just one idea. How creative can you get to see students encouraged to pray?
- Try bringing your students together for just one regular co-ed discipleship group over the summer. Again, make it fun, and include some food and fun along with the time in the Word. The students will enjoy the larger group and may use the social time to invite others to join the group. We suggest material that will help the students study God’s Word on their own, such as Precepts for students, or Bible study methods. Demonstrate how to extract truths from the Word on their own.
- Invite college students home for the summer to help lead the summer ministry. The college students can help with everything, and the high school kids will love them. Encourage them to lead discipleship groups, take kids out to share their faith and give personal encouragement.
- We suggest holding one large gathering event per month over the summer. Aside from the other “normal” stuff that goes on over the summer, try hosting one gathering event for June, July and August. Plan something kind of special that many kids would like to come to–a float trip down a river; a softball or volleyball tournament; a movie night in the backyard of someone’s home (show the movies on a big white sheet); a big pool/ BBQ party. Whatever you plan, just keep it fun and don’t try too hard to make it real spiritual. At most, you could have one of your students share who your group is and what you do at school.
For more ideas on making your summer memorable, call the Coaching Center at 877- GOCAMPUS. We look forward to hearing from you – and have a great summer!