The Worst Part of Summer in Student Ministry

Yesterday I talked about why I love summer so much in student ministry.  However, it’s not all sunshine and roses.  There are some parts of the summer that are hard and that are a struggle.  Here are a few that come to my mind.

  1. All of our volunteers are coming and going on vacation.  Don’t get me wrong – they need it and deserve it!  But, the downside is that some momentum is lost and relationships can get stalled for a few months if volunteers don’t make a very conscious effort to amp up their contacting during these months when everyone is coming and going.
  2. Students are coming and going.  Between vacations, camp, sports playoffs and all of the other stuff that is a part of summer, students are in and out a lot – just like volunteers.  Just like with volunteers being in and out, momentum can be lost and that’s hard.
  3. If you have your own kids, the pressure of wanting to spend time with your family while they’re off from school versus wanting to spend time with your students who are more available, along with all of the added summer events and activities, can create a tension that needs to be navigated. I’m not sure that I’ve gotten this figured out completely yet.  I just know that trying to manage this tension (along with coaching baseball and a personal ministry to the lost around me and trying to keep up with extended family like my brothers and mom) is a crazy pressure that is not easy to get excited about and can quickly wear me down.

What about you?  What are the worst/hardest aspects of summer in student ministry?  What am I missing?


The Best Part of Summer in Student Ministry

Summer is nearing its end and I’ve been thinking about the best parts of summer in student ministry.  There are three things that I love about summer with students ::

  1. Students are out of school and have a lot more discretionary time on their hands which means that they are often looking for something to do.
  2. Because of #1, there are more informal opportunities to build relationships with our students – to hang out, grab some grub, laugh together.
  3. Mission Trips.  We do a mission trip with our high school students every summer.  For me, they are the highlight of our year.  So much happens in the life of students on these trips, not to mention the relationships that are deepened between team members and between students and leaders. Preparation and planning is a job in and of itself, but it is always worth every extra hour spent.

What are your favorite parts of summer in student ministry?

My First Month As An Intern

by Seth Cross

Doing Youth Ministry this past month has been like riding a roller-coaster! Some days I feel lost and unproductive. Other days I feel overwhelmed with work. Sometimes this leads me to be stressed out and depressed, other days I feel productive and excited about what I’ve done and what is coming next!

I’ve found that one of the hardest things to be disciplined in is solitude. Even when I’m not in the office I’m constantly thinking about event planning and the different checklists I have to complete. It’s hard to be present. When I’m constantly preparing and organizing for the future, it’s hard to come back down to the present.

On the other hand, being constantly aware of my role as a leader, I am better developing spiritual disciplines (other than solitude). I have been praying and reading Scripture more consistently. I have been better able to focus in Sunday worship services and grapple with sermons.

In my month as an Intern I have been all over the place emotionally and spiritually, but I am learning to balance my life better because of it. I’m so thankful to God for using me and training. I’m excited for what He will do with the rest of the summer!