Text: “Hey I’m loading a car full of guys and we are going to the trampoline park you in?”
Email: “Hey everyone tonight we are going to hang out at the church and have a snowball fight in the field followed by Nachos, let me know if you can come”
Phone: “Was just thinking about you and wondering if you want to meet at Starbucks for a coffee, my treat”
Students love to receive these types of communication. When something isn’t planned it makes them feel special. Last night I sent out the above email to my grade 10-12’s. Was after school and told them to meet me in 3 hours. Ended up having 8 boys show up for an awesome night. The cool thing about it was I had a random assortment of guys who don’t normally hang out and they all loved it.
Impromptu events give students the feeling that they are special and cared for. This is one of those keys to relational ministry, how do we do it? Even if a student can’t make it they feel invited to “the club”.
The other thing is you can make these events as big or as small as you need. You can do a one-on-one, a car full of people or you whole youth group. It doesn’t matter, because the point is that you are doing something out of the ordinary for your students.
Now some of you who are overbooked are reading this and going “Kyle must not have a life” or “I have no time to add this into my schedule”. And on one hand I am with you. I am the type of guy who likes to put my things on the calendar, have consistency with what night events are and I love to be home with my wife and daughter. So what have I done, I have put these events on my Calendar. Just because it feels improvised to those around me doesn’t mean it has to be for me. Just because it’s on my calendar doesn’t mean those students are any less important.
I would encourage you to think about this as you are tackling Christmas Break. Students are available and you have the opportunity to spend time with them during the day, you don’t get that very often. So whether it is completely random or you need to schedule it for yourself; squeeze a 20min coffee in with a student or take a car full of kids bowling for two hours. It may be the best spent work time you have over the next few weeks.
Kyle Corbin has been serving youth as a volunteer or pastor for over 10 years and blogs exclusively here on LoveGodLoveStudents.com. He is currently the youth pastor at the Bridge Church in North Vancouver B.C. Hit him up on Twitter @CorbinKyle