By Crystal Mazzuca
Hints of summer are all around us – longer days, warmer nights, restless kids. We see that end-of-the-school-year date circled on our calendars. VBS plans are well under way. Summer is the perfect time to try new things, refresh our ministries, and connect in ways that only these months allow.
Try New Things
When is the last time you evaluated your curriculum? Or structured your Sundays and Wednesdays differently? Knowing that vacations and summer plans create inconsistencies with our regular attenders, summer is the perfect time to say yes to something new! If you’ve never tried a large group/small group format, give it a try for a month or two. Maybe this is your season to combine grades so younger kids can learn from older kids. If you’ve done the same curriculum for years, try something new for a few weeks. Let the lazy days of summer be an invitation to step outside your comfort zone.
Refresh Your Volunteers (And Yourself!)
Families aren’t the only ones heading out of town. Our volunteers serve faithfully week after week and are so blessed and refreshed by a few weeks off! Ask well in advance which weeks they would like off. And, if they say they don’t have any summer plans, insist that they take some time off anyway! Invite people from your congregation who don’t normally serve in kids’ ministry to sub for a week or two. They may end up falling in love with it and keep serving in the fall! While you’re at it, make sure you give yourself some time off too. After VBS, at the end of summer—whenever. The same way that your volunteers will be blessed and refreshed by time off, you will be too.
Make Creative ConnectionsThe busyness of the school year often means that our connections with families are limited to Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. The freedom of summer means that we can be creative in how we connect with families outside of those… Click To Tweet
The busyness of the school year often means that our connections with families and their connections with each other are limited to Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. The freedom of summer means that we can be creative in how we connect with families outside of those regular times. Park days, movie nights, and after church lunches are just a few simple ways that we can help our families have fun with one another and grow in their relationships. Make a goal of how many of these connection times you want to see happen and communicate them early. While you are at it, make a goal of some ways and times you can connect with families yourself. Go on a popsicle delivery mission. Prank your kids with a water balloon fight after church. Grab your roller skates and invite them to join you at a park. Scheduling fun connection times will strengthen your relationships with families for years to come.
Don’t let summer pass you by without trying something new, intentionally planning refreshment, and taking advantage of connection opportunities.
Crystal Mazzuca has served in family ministry for 20 years and is currently a Director of Kids’ Ministry in Olympia, Washington. She has a Master’s Degree in Christian Education Administration from Regent University and loves to encourage and equip leaders to disciple the next generation. She is a single mom to 3 boys, a proud nerd, and would cross oceans for a good cup of coffee.