Kids camp is for kids, right? Right! But have you considered having teenagers involved in the kids ministry at your church?
We all know that kids don’t stay kids … and at Lifeway Kids, we talk a lot about breaking down ministry silos between kids and student ministries. Summer camp is a great way to plug in some trusted teens to gain valuable ministry experience and it is a simple way to partner with the Student Ministry team at your church. You’ll want to bring older teens who have displayed maturity or who may have helped out before.
Here are 5 benefits to having trusted teens help at kids camp:
- Help with the Adult: Camper ratio. Every summer I hear from church leaders who have a tough time getting enough adults to accompany their group to camp. At CentriKid Camps, we offer the “Team Assistant” program where college students or juniors and seniors in high school can attend camp as one of your adults.
- Engage another family member. There is so much benefit to a family by being together and serving together. At camp, you could have an opportunity to get one or more parents attending camp along with a teen because of a younger sibling who is a camper. This isn’t feasible for every family, but for some, they could make this a “family bonding ministry experience.” What if that phrase became a norm in your ministry … consider the impact of families serving together in other contexts at your church!
- Capitalize on their energy. With bringing an older, trusted teen to camp, there is a good chance that you are bringing a former camper from kids camp, which means they will be fired up to serve and will jump in with amazing energy!
- Invest in future leaders. As a Kids Ministry leader, you have a chance to share your heart and connect with a student who is considering where to serve in the future. You’ve got a chance during camp to find out more about the interests, calling, and direction of some future leaders in your church.
- Give valuable ministry experience. Have a trusted teen lead a portion of your Church Group Devotion at camp. Encourage relationship building opportunities and even gospel-sharing opportunities with kids in your group. All of this experience is good during the week of camp, but it pays off tenfold when a student gains experience and confidence to continue serving with kids back home!
This summer, consider inviting a couple of teens to be a part of your kids camp group. If they understand the opportunity they have to do Kingdom work, then starting at kids camp as a helper could lead to a future where they serve in your church and maybe even continue on with other ministry opportunities in college and afterwards!