I was posed the question in the title this week from a friend that was looking for a new way to do ministry when there was down time during Spring Break. The question was laced with "give me ideas to make me successful" and "how can I do ministry better when we do not have the structure of school." The response that followed might not have been what this person was wanting from me.

For ministry at the Air Force Academy, when teenagers are given solid time with family, I always encourage them to spend time with family and about 90% of the students this spring break went on a vacation for at least 4 of the 9 days they had off, leaving me little to no chance of being able to program some kind of event that would have been well attended. For me, spring break is something that we all should take into account, both as families and in ministry. Structure was lost on the teenage part and therefore it was the perfect time to build the relational side of ministry. I invited teenagers to attend chapel with us on Sunday morning, spent time at Starbucks and Chipotle for lunch, interacted with a few students on Facebook, and simply enjoyed the time off from programmed events.

Some of the best ministry that can happen are in those "in-between" gaps of the school year when you simply have a quick lunch with them and listen to what is on their hearts, see pictures of them going skiing with friends and family, and share your life with them in little moments of glory. While we preach this Gospel to teens through stories and club talks, some of the most impactful times of being a light of Christ can be at the checkout register of a resturant where you share a warm smile, tip with love, and develop a relational ministry of living life with teenagers where they see Christ in your actions that does not involve a crazy club game or seven to nine minute talk.

As we finish out the year, I ask that you pray for these teens to see Jesus in us Club Beyond leaders, in their parents, and those that support the ministry as we be the light in these little relational moments that can have everlasting impact on students looking for hope and joy in this world.

by Jeremy Smith.  Jeremy serves as a Club Beyond Community Director at the United States Air Force Academy base in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Through the outreach program Club Beyond, Jeremy walks alongside the teens through friendship, Club meetings, Bible studies, special events and service projects, all the while sharing with them the love of Jesus Christ.

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