5 Moves To Build Hype For The Fall

Tom Pounder
June 1st, 2020

No matter what is happening in the world, ministry happens. It could look different than what you are used to, um…Covid-19 Pandemic, but ministry happens. And, because ministry happens no matter what, you have to be prepared and ready to go under every circumstance. As summer approaches, that means building hype and getting people excited for the fall.

So how do you build hype for the fall with so much uncertainty in the air (literally)? What could you do?

Here are 5 moves you can be making right now so that when your fall semester kicks off, it will be better than ever. 

Invest in leaders.

Take time right now to connect with your volunteer leaders, especially if you haven’t been doing so.

Depending on what’s going on in your area, maybe take them out for a coffee or meet at the Church office where you bring a pizza to eat socially distanced apart. If there is still nervousness about getting together in person, set up a Zoom call.

The point is to take time to meet with and build into your leaders. Get their input on what’s been happening in the ministry, cast vision for where you see the ministry going, give them a win for the year, and get them focused.

The more you can invest in your leaders now, the more excited they will be when fall kicks off. 

Invest in students.

Just like with leaders, spending time with and engaging students is really important over the summer months.

Summer months are tricky because there are sports, vacations, camps and pandemics that cause student consistency at events a hit or miss proposition. However, whether it is in person or online, there are plenty of opportunities you have to stay connected with students. Text students, share TikTok videos or funny memes with each other, encourage them in Christ and, in the right circumstances, if you can meet up in person, do it.

The more you can stay in touch consistently over the summer and getting them hyped for some fall activities and opportunities, the more likely they will be engaged when the fall comes around. So don’t let summer inconsistencies drag you down.

Keep in touch with them throughout the summer.

Invest in parents.

An interesting development that has benefited the student ministry at my church during this time is the opportunity to invest and care for parents.

The volunteer leaders and I have been in regular contact with parents, engaging, and encouraging them during this pandemic. The wonderful thing about it is that parents are really responding. They are grateful for how we are trying to connect with them and their teens. And that builds up trust and comfortability between parents and the student ministry team.

That is good for a variety of reasons, but when fall comes around, they are more likely going to encourage their teens to connect in the student ministry because they know you care for them and their entire family.

Map out where you want to go.

In order to get people excited about the fall and what’s ahead, you have to map it out and really know where you are going as a ministry.

It isn’t something that can be thrown together at the last minute.

Spend time praying about it and getting feedback from leaders, students, and parents as you plan.

As you get feedback, plot out what and how it will happen.

Then share with others, especially on your getaway gathering (see last move).

Do a leadership getaway in the summer.

Ideally this would happen 3-5 weeks before fall kickoff. These getaways have been very fruitful events for my ministry.  It’s a time for you to take leaders, young and old, away for a weekend to get ready for the fall.

If, for some reason, there is a global pandemic that is causing people to shelter in place, or you simply don’t have the money to get away for a weekend with leaders, do a Stay at Home Getaway or a Digital Getaway. The point being is get all the leaders and key players together, for at least a half a day, to prepare and get on the same page for the fall. 

The fall is such an important time for your ministry.

If you start strong with a lot of energy and excitement, you are setting yourself up for a great ministry year. But in order for that to happen, you have to do the work over the summer months. Invest in relationships with leaders, students, and parents then map out where you are going strategically.

You will find people will more easily rally behind you and the mission ahead.

Regardless of what is happening around the world or in your neck of the woods, earnestly seek the Lord and let Him guide you.

Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Student Minister and Online Campus Pastor at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at YMSidekick.com

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.