3 Things To Prepare For The Start Of Fall Ministry

Bryant Westbrook
August 6th, 2019

The fall semester marks the start of the new school year and families are getting back into routines, students start coming back to youth group  who might have left for vacation all summer and attendance starts to climb again. While attendance climbs, the potential for new students to come is at its highest and it’s absolutely essential to be prepared for this influx of students. We can be prepared for this rise by doing three things that I’ve found to be game changers.

1.Ask God for vision

I am easily tempted to come up with my own vision for the school year and do what I think is best. But I’ve learned that when I invite God in on the planning, what takes place is far better than anything I could ever dream up.

This first step requires humility because it forces us to set aside what we think is best for the year and listen to what God might want to do for the year. Choosing to bring God in on the planning will ultimately help us reach more students and speak into their lives in ways God is speaking to them.

Inviting God in will also allow revelation to replace imitation. Imitation is easy because we can do the same thing this coming school year as last year but the same thing every year can be a downer. When we invite God in on the planning and vision for the fall, it really can be a life-changing school year for our students.

2.Connect with a coach

Connecting with a coach before the school year can help you reflect on last year as well as help prepare you for the upcoming school year. You can ask your coach for prayer, counsel and encouragement before the school year even starts! 

It’s a great way to dive into the new school year with fresh conversations and encouragement. We can also let our coaches in on what God has shared with us for the year and we can evaluate how it went throughout the year. However you do it, connecting with a coach before the school year will benefit you months from now.

3.Pick a sabbath and keep it

When I first started my current youth director position, I went to the church on my day off to hangout with a student. My pastor asked me what I was doing there. I said, “I’m hanging out with a student.” He did everything short of yelling at me by saying “Your day off is essential for you to take, I don’t want you working during that day.” 

My pastor shared with me that my day off needs to be protected and that I shouldn’t allow something that involves work to override it. For me especially, I used to think that working on my day off was great. I have learned that if I don’t protect that day, no one else is going to do it for me.

On your sabbath day do these two things: 

1. Whatever connects you to God. It could be running, worship music, or nature. 

2. Do whatever helps you rest. It could be watching movies, playing video games, walking, yoga or hammocking. 

You’ve got to find what it is that connects you to God and allows you to rest. Doing these two things will help you maximize your days off and energize you during the school year.

By doing these three things before the school year and during the school year you will be constantly refreshed and focused on what’s ahead.

Bryant Westbrook

Bryant Westbrook is the youth director at First United Methodist Church is Valley Center, KS. Bryant has served as a missionary in Alaska, program staff for YouthWorks, treatment counselor for teens and has a passion for student leadership. Bryant's contact is bryant@fumcvc.com and he blogs at bryantwestbrook.wordpress.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.