Rebuilding Youth Ministry
By Josh Sanchez
Youth Ministry Consultant
This has been a long few months. Coronavirus exposed our ministry’s strengths and weaknesses. Quarantine closed the building’s doors, but opened up new opportunities for us to present the gospel in modern and unique ways. Now we’re in the summer! Many we’re hoping that the heat would burn everything away and we would get back to real life, but instead what we are seeing is a spike in cases. And for the Church that probably means that we must be even more careful with our reopening plans. So in today’s article, what I’d like to consider is how to rebuild your youth ministry after its in-person activities have been shut down for several months at this point.
First, if and when you decide to meet together, be more careful than you have ever been in the past. Don’t be scared, but just be careful. I work at a private high school and we opened up doors for the last week to sign yearbooks and return books. We had pretty good safety measures (masks, social distancing, and hand washing required) but with all of that our students could not stay away from each other. If we were not careful and someone had COVID, I could totally imagine how it could have gone horribly. Be safe! Your students don’t know how to do that and we need to help them and their loved ones stay safe.
Second, be creative. You may not get to do your traditional camps, movie days, food outings, and VBS’s, so what are you going to do? We are doing a 3-week retreat experience that we are hoping to push our students closer to Jesus and together as a group. If you want to know more about that, talk to me. I’m hoping it will have all the good stuff without the temporary mountain-top experience, and the stress, all while keeping kids engaged and healthy.
Third, do what’s important — make disciples. Whatever you do this summer, make disciples that make disciples. Getting new kids in the door may not be the focus right now, but maybe pushing your students to follow Jesus closer will be what is best for them right now. And if you have a student that is ready to reach more, equip that student!
Youth leader, I know this is not an easy time, but you were made for this time. God would not have you in this role unless you were called for this time. May his Holy Spirit empower you to lead boldly and passion and creativity. The Kingdom needs you to push on and not give up. If you need help, reach out. I’d love to brainstorm with you.