By: Ken Schmidtke


Christmas break is an excellent time to be with students.  Yes, it is important to be with your family during the holidays and for many of us (me included) that means taking some time off. I will, however, take some of this school vacation time for building time experiences.  Kids are available, and I am sure will be wanting something to do. Winter break is a perfect time for short or extended building time activities.

Building time is spending time in shared activities with young people in order to build new relationships and model Christ-like behavior through everyday shared experiences, trips and events.  Now it most likely is too late to plan an overnight trip or event, but there is still time to organize a day trip or local activity. 

 One of my favorite activities is helping kids raise funds for spring break trips/events.  In the Pacific Northwest there are still plenty of yards needing spruced up from the autumn leaves.  I load up my car with kids and supplies for raking leaves and we walk different neighborhoods asking people to help send kids to camp by allowing them to do some work!  It is a memorable time being together working hard for a good cause.

 An activity can be as simple as meeting up for coffee/hot chocolate at a local Starbuck’s, taking a group shopping at a local mall, building snow-people in a park or yard,  seeing the new movie, bowling, roller skating… the list goes on and on.  Just make sure you have the appropriate parent permission for the event!

 It is not so much doing a certain kind of event or activity; it is just getting out with students, spending time together and interacting.  It is life-on-life ministry and it gives us, and them, the opportunity to discover new insights about one another.

 So, have a Merry Christmas with your family and hopefully, enjoy the slower pace.  Also during the break, take advantage of the students’ vacation time with shared activities!

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