By Center for Youth Ministry Training 5/28/19

Go To Them

Navigating summer youth ministry activities can feel impossible. I see youth group after youth group seek to have weekly fun fellowship events, and I talk to youth minister after youth minister who are frustrated that more youth do not show up.
More mature (older) youth ministers will simply say “It is summer.” I’d like to quickly unpack what that means and make a suggestion.
What do we mean when we say “it is summer?” If we think about it, we mean a couple of things:

  1. Youth are doing other things.
  2. Youth are on vacation.

My observation is that youth actually have more time and do more fellowship activities during the summer, they simply do less of them at church or with the youth group.
They are already doing many of the local fellowship activities that we offer. They are going swimming. They are going to the movies.  They are hanging out at friends’ houses.
My suggestion is to join them. Go to them. Just as you go to their soccer games, plays, and school lunches during the school year. Go to them. Go to the movies. Hang out at the local pool. Go to the mall. Go to Sonic during Happy Hour. You can plan your fellowship events where they already are. Then, your most loyal youth who would show up if you were taking trash to the dump can go with you and you’ll see other youth who were there anyway.
It is summer! You’d rather be hanging out at the pool than your office too. So go to them!