10 Must Have’s For Summer Ministry

Tom Pounder
April 16th, 2019

Summertime is a great time of year. While it is still a very active and busy time of year both personally and in ministry, it also provides you a variety of opportunities that you don’t have in the other seasons.  That is why it is so important that you use the summer as a huge ministry time and capitalize on this yearly opportunity. 

So what do you need to have in order to have an effective summer in your ministry? Here are 10 must haves that I need during my summer.

Vacation. Wait!?! What? How does that help you in ministry? Well, rest is so important for you to be successful. Without rest you eventually burnout and leave ministry way too soon. Hopefully you are taking time off and enjoying your Sabbath throughout the year. Now, during the summer months take time to enjoy a vacation. Whether it is a staycation or a trip to the beach or the mountains, get away from the office and enjoy some time away so you can stay fresh and energized throughout the year. 

A good book to read. Summertime ministry is a little different than throughout the year. While it is still a busy time, the summer also yields itself to time to relax and learn. For instance, going to the pool and hanging out instead of being shut in like we are all winter. That means it is a great opportunity to read a good book. Pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read and read it over the summer. 

A good podcast to listen to. Maybe reading books aren’t your thing. That’s ok because there are a ton of great podcasts out there. Whether it is for pleasure or education, find a good podcast to listen to and enjoy for pleasure or will help you learn more and improve in your ministry. 

Summer Movie “MUST WATCH” list. Make up a list of classics and new releases of movie to go to and watch with students over the summer.  Make sure they are appropriate movies, but then either do a movie night at a home, the church or the theater and have fun. Whether 5 kids show or 50, movie nights are fun times with students. 

Summertime Music Playlist. Great to have summer music to play at youth events. Just like the movies, make sure they are appropriate but you need to incorporate some of the classic summer time music to play all summer long.  Make a playlist and play them all summer long. That way when students hear that song later on throughout the year or years later they can remember the great experiences they had with the student ministry.

Water Games. When is the best time to paly water games? It’s the summer! There is no better time to play water games than the summer. So break out the water games and play them throughout the summer.  Whether it is slip and slide kickball or water fight night, these are games to play with students. Just a reminder, whenever you are dealing with water and people getting wet, make sure students are dressed appropriately and have a change of clothes. 

Campfire/Bonfire.  If you can do a bonfire at someone’s house or a park in the area, great. If you can’t do a bonfire, a campfire will definitely work just as well…it’s just a little smaller. Break out the hot dogs, the s’mores and get ready for a great time with students. 

A trip to an amusement park.  If you have an amusement park within a few hours away from your Church, go there with students. Students will likely go there anyways throughout the summer, so why not use this as an opportunity to take students as a group and have memorable experiences. There have been a few years that former students and I STILL talk about many years later. 

A camp trip. Whether it is a mission trip, summer camp or even a weekend trip away, these trips are always great bonding experiences with students. You get so much time with students that it can really deepen relationships with students and leaders alike. 

Follow up Strategy from camp trip.  Camp trips can be HUGE momentum builders for your ministry. That is why you need to capitalize on it AFTER the trip is over. Create a strategy to have once you get home so you can use the memories and good times to carry over into the fall. As important as it is to have this strategy for the student who went on the trip, make sure you find ways to include those who didn’t go on the trip so they can feel apart of the momentum headed into the fall.

Each season of the year provides different opportunities for effectiveness in your ministry. Summer can be an amazing time of ministry for you as warmer weather makes for great outdoor connection time. Make sure you take care of yourself, but use the plethora of opportunities the summer presents itself to make it a memorable season which also sets you up for a fantastic fall. 

Tom Pounder

Tom has a background in Student Ministry working over 20 years with teenagers and currently serves as the Student Minister and Online Campus Pastor at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs regularly at YMsidekick.com about student, social and digital ministry strategies.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.