How to Make the Most Out of Your Summer
Spring is here. The countdown to the end of the school year has begun. You're gearing up for student graduations, end of the year parties, and wrapping up curriculum. Hooray, you're done!
Uh, no you're not. We all get to breathe a collective sigh of relief at the end of the school year—a marathon has been completed! But the moment you exhale from that well-deserved sigh, your summer calendar is upon you. I made the mistake last year of focusing so much on finishing the school year strong that I forgot about the summer. This year, I’m a step ahead and encourage you to consider the following.
Have A Plan (Part 1)
I live in the northeast, so our school year goes until the last week of June. I’ve got friends in Georgia, however, who begin summer break before they finish this article. So if you live in a “Oh no! Summer is next week!” part of the country, your sense of urgency is real. The rest of us have some breathing room, but not much. Grab some key leaders and a handful of students for a brainstorming session and map out the entire summer. Are you doing a camp or mission trip? Then don’t forget to plan a debrief session the week after. Are you welcoming new students who have moved “up” into student ministry? Have something fun planned where you recognize (not roast) them.
Besides picking events and identifying the best day for each, select a champion for each event. This will be your “go to” person for all details and last-minute questions.
Have A Life
Plan your vacation time NOW. It’s easy to think, “Yeah, I’ll take vacation sometime this summer,” only to discover the summer ends before you get away. Selecting event point people will benefit you when it comes to vacation planning, because summer ministry fun can continue without you.
Have A Heart
You’ve been working hard to make it to the end of the school year, and in just a couple of months you’ll be gearing up for a fall kick-off. And even though you’ve been meaning to take your spiritual temperature, do it now. Do something different this summer and schedule a weekly appointment with God. This doesn’t have to be a quiet time. Instead, go to your favorite coffee shop or quiet place and be still for an hour. This is one of those ideas that will sound great but won’t happen unless you set time aside. Do it now! (Wednesday from 3-4 is my time.)
Have Some Vision
While students are psyched for summer to sleep in, or break some video game records, or catch up on every episode of their favorite TV show they missed, we need to offer a challenge. What spiritual growth steps can you offer students during the summer? While it can be a class or meeting, it doesn’t have to be. What spiritual growth “habits” can you introduce? How about reading through several books of the Bible together...or memorizing verses...or a free ice cream for having a quiet time 5 days in a row?
Have Some Fun
Just because.... Seriously, it’s summer time! Yes, you can have meetings at the beach or in the mountains or at your church member’s pool while they’re away on vacation. And by all means, eat some ice cream. Lots of it.
Have A Plan (Part 2)
Guess what? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the fall is almost here. Crazy, right? Practice your new summertime habit of planning ahead by setting aside time to pray, dream, and plan for the fall. Your summer will be much more relaxing, and your excitement for the fall will grow if you plan now. What can you do to kick off the school year? How can you reach your local schools this year? What students do you hope to disciple?
Okay, enough about the summer. I’ve got to begin some of these ideas. I’m good at thinking of them...if only I could practice them. Anyone seen my calendar?