Gearing up is not about planning (That should have been done already), but rather about filling the tank and preparing your heart, mind, and soul for ministry.
For our student ministry rhythm we intentionally take a couple of weeks off between the end of summer programming and our fall launch. I have found that this is a vital two weeks for our students and for me. As we wrap up summer, and we have solidified our 16-17 calendar complete with curriculum, fun activities, service and mission trips, it is time to take the foot off the gas, get my own house in order and prepare for another full year of student ministry.
For the next two weeks, here are my goals and my plan to achieve them.
GOAL 1) FILL MY TANK: This last school year was incredible, but wiped me out. Add to that an unexpected summer of grief and all the ministry that surrounds that, and I am pooped. Since my cup is empty, and ministry is mostly about pouring out generously into others, it is high time to begin the process of filling my cup.
PLAN: SPEND TIME WITH JESUS, IN CREATION, WITH FRIENDS: Not having youth ministry looming over my head gives me the space I need to unplug for a bit. And even more than unplug, it is so nice to do things that don't have "purpose." Spending time in scripture because I want to meet with Jesus and grown in my knowledge and love of His word is filling. And filling not to simply prepare for a talk, but to prepare for life. On top of that I have Surfing, running, working on my Jeep, going to the movies, playing Disc Golf, and some coffee dates on in the pipeline.
GOAL 2) INSPIRE PARENTS: This is a brand new year, a fresh start. And I want to help parents realize that these first 6 weeks of our youth ministry year are invaluable in helping connect their kids to community and hopefully to Christ. We have a great fall plan, and I want nothing more than to help parents realize this and leverage their parental weight, so that, together we can help their kids thrive.
PLAN: This is pretty simple, I have a beginning of the year email that I will be sending out. This will include all the relevant dates for the year, some parent meetings, parenting seminar and a parenting retreat. But even more I will, for the one and only time this year, pull the pastor card and put all my political chips in, so that they will put all their parental chips in, so that their kids will make it to youth group and be part of our student ministry community.
GOAL 3) GIVE EVERY KIDS ON THE ROLLS A "TOUCH": There is a two week break before student ministry programming resumes. But just because we don't have group doesn't mean that these kids aren't on my mind or in my prayers. I want every kid connected to our church to know that I see them, love them, and am praying for them. I want to make contact and begin to set up some appointments for further connection.
PLAN: Simple. Text. Facebook. Instagram. SnapChat. Snail Mail. Pixinote. Phone Call. Every and all means necessary so every kids knows they matter.
This is my plan. This means that writing for my blog is going to be put on hold until after Labor Day. But have no fear, September has all sorts of incredible topics that will be unpacked. Everything from Kidz Bop, to Pot, Porn, and Prostitution. As well as some parental push back from the technological abyss our kids find themselves in. So come back every Monday and Thursday after Labor Day and be part of the wild world of student ministry in this ever changing fast paced world.
Happy End of Summer and Beginning of School!