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Schools are letting out, which means everyone is trying to wind down. No matter what’s on your plate, you are looking to refresh and relax from an exhausting year. You would love to be like teachers and shut it down for the summer; however, that might not be in your control. Regardless you are ready for a break.
While you deserve a vacation, it’s important not to shut down your summer completely. If you do you risk losing momentum, ministers and you’ll find yourself in a panic as the fall quickly approaches. It’s easy to fool yourself into believing that the summer is longer than it actually is and that will lead to burn out. So, how do you relax without falling behind?
A simple summer means:
- Tearing Away The Excess – A tired youth minister entering into the summer can be like a hungry man walking into an all you can eat buffet. With all the “extra” time you feel like you can handle more; however, that’s not quite the case. No matter what your programming looks like it, it needs to be simple. If you are giving ministers a break or planning on taking a vacation yourself, you need to make sure that your ministry is bare bones. That might mean no technology or going unplugged with the music. You might want to outsource your messages with a few videos. Basically, you want to plan something that doesn’t need you in order to occur.
- Setting Small Goals – You tell yourself, “This is the summer where I’m going to get 6 months ahead.” But it isn’t, is it? It’s the summer you find yourself 6 months behind because you failed at the incredibly insane goal you set. Instead create small goals and pace yourself. When you win small, you win big, because you build momentum and confidence. By setting small goals you accomplish tasks without wearing yourself out. If you have a big dream to reach, just break it down and make it achievable.
- Becoming Relational – Your relational throughout the year; however, summer is the time to meet with people for no other reason than to see how they are doing. Grab lunch or a cup of iced coffee and just talk. Don’t worry about casting vision, or developing a strategy for their small group, just get to know them. You can do the same with teenagers, meet with your small group over a burger and fries to see how their summer is going. Don’t set an agenda, just hang out. What you show your team and the teens is that you care about who they are and not just what they can do for your ministry.
This summer keep it simple. Yes, you might have trips, events and camps; even more reason just to keep it simple. Simplifying your summer means looking after your soul and giving your mind a rest. When you can slow down the pace you can see the bigger picture. You can see what God is doing in your ministry and in your life.
How else can we make summer simple?