By: Amber Jost

Summer is almost here!  But before you slap a bunch of fun ideas for trips and events on the calendar, I’d like to challenge you to think purposefully about what you do this summer. Why do you do the trips you do?  Think specifically about your student leaders, kids in your ministry that don’t know Jesus yet, people in your community who don’t even know Campus Life yet… how can you purposefully connect with those people through different trips/events this summer? 

For your student leaders, consider taking a trip with them to serve at a YFCamp on Work Crew or on a Project Serve trip.  The program for these events has been developed for you to come alongside the disciples you are walking with.  If YFCamp or Project Serve don’t work in your calendar, intentionally plan a trip that is programmed for discipleship. 

For your students who don’t know Jesus yet, consider bringing them as campers to a YFCamp or check around your region for trips other chapters are leading that are programmed for evangelism.  Look for ways to partner within YFC – take advantage of the opportunity to spend your time doing relational ministry with your students, rather than spending time doing program or administrative work.

If you don’t have the time or funds to go away on a trip, plan day outings and target specific groups of kids to participate.  Talk with your volunteers about their availability to take a day off to spend with small groups of kids.  If you value developing relationships between volunteers and students, plan around your volunteer’s schedules to make sure you cater to the time they have.

The challenge for your ministry this summer is to do things that are fun AND purposeful. So before you throw a bunch of fun on the calendar, declare your values and ministry goals for the summer.  Everything you do should rotate around your values and help you accomplish your ministry goals.  If you value relational ministry, and one of your goals is to engage your volunteers in relationships with kids, plan trips/events that your volunteers can attend and create an environment that fosters relationships.  Don’t plan an event on a day your volunteers can’t be there, and don’t plan an event that requires your volunteers to do all the program/admin work. 

Summer is almost here… what’s your plan!?

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