Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Let us not give up meeting together,
as some are in the habit of doing,
but let us encourage one another.
-- Hebrews 10:24-25
For many churches, summer means we shut the doors on all our programs and take a summer break. So is that a good or bad thing. We are instructed to spur one another on and not give up the habit of meeting together. So why do we?
May churches use the time to give their volunteers a break. Others are afraid of a small turn out during summer months. And others just don't have the people power to have events all summer long.
For the last couple weeks I've been catching up with a lot of friends in youth ministry and have heard various plans for the summer. The are several churches that have stopped small group ministry during the summer, but are continuing to have regular youth program time. Several others are stopping programing and small groups and going the event based summer plans. Others have some type of program, camp, retreat, or mission opportunity going on all summer every week. Others are having event based events in place of program and continuing small groups during the summer. In the past I have tried each one of these a time or too.
For us, we have two mission trips, a beach retreat, Sunday Night events, and small groups meeting every week through the summer. This is my first summer with this group and we will see if it works. One important reason we did not stop small groups for the summer is because we just started them in the Spring and things are going great.
I do events, such as pool party, going to the river and lake, bowling, movie nights, and other things to help build our group through fellowship. I also see it as a great opportunity for students to invite their friends and not feel threatened by the church experience. Over the years, I have seen many of my strongest leaders come from being invited during the summer.
No matter which route your youth program goes this summer, take time for your students and remind them of this verse in Hebrews.