written by, John Park
Each year the fall brings a new school year for students and for youth ministries the Back to School season offers a perfect launching pad to engage students who are adjusting to new schools, classes, stages of life and activities. Here are 5 strategic things you can do to get your youth ministry ready for the Back to School season.
- Create a Youth Ministry Calendar
- Things get busy and most times, great ideas get thwarted because of a lack of planning. Creating a 12-month youth ministry calendar will help you get ahead of the game. Make sure to mark major holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter), school breaks (winter, spring and summer). This will let you plan for camps, youth events, leadership training and even your own vacation time.
- Plan your teaching calendar
- Imagine you are building a house. It helps to have a plan, we call that a blueprint. Creating a teaching calendar helps you plan what key topics your youth ministry will focus on for the next 6-12 months. This also lets you create teaching series to dive deep in teaching what Scripture has to say about those topics
- Organize Your Discipleship Strategy
- Discipleship doesn’t just happen. Jesus was specific to call his disciples and spent an intensive 3 ½ years with them. Christians are called to make disciples (Matt 28), so having a discipleship strategy is vital. This means knowing who you will disciple, when you will disciple them and how you will disciple them. UYWI offers the Discipleship Toolkit to walk your students through the journey of growing as followers of Jesus. You can find it at dkit.uywi.org
- Build a team and recruit volunteers
- It’s hard to run a ministry on your own. In fact, we don’t recommend it and it’s probably the fastest way to get burned out. So you must build a team. Start to recruit volunteers to serve alongside you. It may be people to lead worship, host a small group, or provide food for your meetings. Volunteers can serve in many ways and help you in doing the work of ministry.
- Psalms 127:1 states “unless the Lord builds the house those who build it labor in vain.” You can build, build and build your youth ministry on your own but unless God is giving you direction, it can all be in vain. Take time to pray for your youth, those that are yet to come to your youth group, those that serve with you (parents and volunteers) and most importantly, pray for yourself as you walk with Jesus.