I used to get lost for hours. Summer was one of those times where I would leave the house at sunrise and get home at sunset. For my buddies and I, going out and getting lost was a must.
Between the camps, events and trainings summer can fly by for a youth minister. That’s because summer is a break from the usual. The tendency is to fill all the FREE TIME that’s been created.
But, it’s easy to fill it with the wrong things. The activities and opportunities you must fill you summer schedule should help you grow. Here are 6 MUST DO’s that I highly recommend:
TAKE A VACATION…SERIOUSLY
Doesn’t matter if summer is busy or laid back. You must take a vacation because of the grinding year that lays ahead. Ideally you should block out about 10 days. If you cannot get that much than settle for four.
The first day (or two) is about unwinding, the rest is about enjoying. You can go away or maybe just book a hotel in town. A vacation is breaking away from the usual. In the end you’ll feel refreshed.
INVEST IN ONE VOLUNTEER
There’s a little more margin in everyone’s schedule. That makes summer the best time to invest in a volunteer you feel like has leadership potential. That investment could be:
- Inviting them over for dinner with the family.
- Watching their kids for free to give them and their spouse a date night.
- Introducing them to something you enjoy and love.
- Sharing with them with the resources that have helped you grow personally.
Do not let the fact that you cannot do this for everyone hold you back from doing it for someone. You must invest in leaders and sometimes that takes intentionality.
WORK ON YOUR PERSONAL VISION
Invest into yourself this summer. Take a few evenings and look at the type of disciple of Christ God is calling you to be. Craft a personal vision. Think about your values.
Write it out and share it with a group of people who know you. A great leader must have a vision because it gives them purpose to what they are doing. If you have a personal vision it’ll be easier to create one for your ministry.
NETWORK WITH OTHER YOUTH MINISTERS
Use some of your time to socialize with the other men and women in your community serving the next generation. Share war stories, grab a bite to eat and just grow in fellowship. It will help you realize you are not alone. You need that if you are going to do ministry for the long haul.
READ AT LEAST TWO BOOKS ON LEADERSHIP
You might resent the idea of summer reading, but leaders are learners. Learners are readers. If you do not know what to read, check out this article (click here) on some of the top leaders out there. Or, check my resource page here.
GO OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Find an adventure. A leader must learn how to move out of their comfort zone. That means looking at places and opportunities that challenge them. Maybe it’s serving in a mission downtown or going for a challenging hike. Find an experience that could have failure and tackle it. What you learn from going out of your comfort zone is priceless.
Do not let this summer fly by. Look at it as an opportunity to grow and learn. Plan out what you want to do. Write it down and share it with others. When looking back you’ll be glad you did these 6 must do’s.
What else would you add to the list? What are you going to tackle first? Please comment.