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4 things not to forget this Summer

4 things not to forget this Summer
 

For many student ministries, summer is a time of extreme busyness. There are mission trips, graduation parties, weekend activities, camping trips, pool parties, family gatherings, volunteers to recruit and students to contact. In the busyness of all the activity, we can easily lose our entire summer, and before we know it, we will be planning the Back to School Party in August.

The busyness of urgent things can keep us from taking time for really important things.

As you make your plans, fill in your calendar, and schedule last minute details, consider blocking some of your time out to retreat with God, your family and volunteers. Try not to allow student activities to run your summer!

4 things not to forget Summer 2012

1. Plan a personal retreat for yourself and God.

Summer is a great time to spend some solitude with God. It is not too late to plan a day in your week to go away to spend time in silence, solitude, prayer and worship. Plan the time to be disconnected from your cellphone and other media. Consider contacting a local camp, retreat center, or monastery and ask for a room to use for the day. If this is not an option, ask a friend, church member or family member to borrow their cabin or backyard for an extended period with God. If you plan to retreat during the week, friends and church members are often delighted to allow you to use their space for the day! If you can’t get away for an entire day, consider a 5-hour time slot- just leave your office and your home!

2. Plan a special date night for your spouse or significant other. 

We tend to spend a lot of time investing in mission trips, outreach events, summer camps and other details for student activities. Often times, all that investment comes at the expense of those closest to us. Summer is a good season to break bad scheduling habits and recapture space and time for family and loved ones. Consider putting some time into a special date night out of the ordinary where you plan out the details for your spouse!  Do something different and invest time into making it special. Ask them what their dream date would be- it should give you some great ideas. If you aren’t too creative, ask a friend for some help!

3. Invest in your volunteers. 

If you continue your staff meetings or training sessions through the summer, consider making one of those meetings a fun night out. Scrap the schedule and all the things you need to talk about and just go laugh together and create a fun memory. Mini golf or ice cream never fails. Have a small budget? Contact the business owner of the place you would like to attend and explain your desire to treat volunteers who serve students in your community. They will most likely be more than willing to help you out with your cost! (Try several establishments if the first one doesn’t work out. Make sure to let them know you are a non-profit organization and share about the work of the student ministry). Take the night to simply say, “Thank you” to the leaders who pour into your students.

4. And before August, start praying about 2012-2013! 

Before that Back to School gathering hits off, schedule an appointment in your calendar to pray and think about the following school year and some future ideas for the student ministry. Grab another youth ministry friend to brainstorm, pray and enjoy some coffee together. Use it as a time to refocus on the biggest things about why you do what you do. These can be great times of creativity, encouragement, and fellowship.

Meredith Dahl
Executive Directory at Cross Connection Ministries
Meredith is the Executive Director of Cross Connection Ministries in New Holland, PA. She has received a Bachelor of Science in Student Ministry and a Master of Arts in Ministry (Concentration in Student Ministry) from Lancaster Bible College. Meredith and her husband live in New Holland with their baby boy Liam and love living, working and volunteering in their community.