Guest Post by Scott Huff
The end of the school year is quickly approaching and all of those things you planned for this school year about to be completed. But, what’s next? Summer is coming! That’s what’s next. It is time to plan that summer calendar you’ve been putting off for months because your students and parents are asking for it. What is your strategy for this summer? What do you want to see happen in and through your group in the months ahead? Here are a few elements you should have when planning a great summer calendar which can build the momentum you want to have heading into next school year.
- YOU MUST HAVE A VISION – Pray, think, set, and cast a vision for what you want to see accomplished this summer. This should be similar to your church’s overall vision but also specific enough to be able to produce and ultimately evaluate the success of your summer. Pray about it and see what God wants you and your ministry to do and learn this summer. Once you have set your vision then make sure to cast it to your students, parents, and leaders. If they don’t know the reason behind that “chubby bunny night” then they won’t be able to provide support or evaluation effectively. A good vision statement is a large picture plan with an end goal in mind. It can be simple but needs to be God sized too. Examples of a good vision statement are: we want to lead students toward better relationships with each other so they may together build better relationships with God OR we want to lead students to a greater knowledge of those who do not know Jesus and to equip them to engage the lost in a more effective way.
- YOU MUST HAVE A STRATEGY – The strategy should be to plan your events, Bible studies, trips, camps, etc. around the vision. If everything is working together to accomplish your vision then you will have success. If your goal is to build relationships within your ministry this summer then you can focus your attention on doing that through camp, coed events, and things that get students hanging out in non-intimidating environments and provides opportunities to engage in conversation. If your vision is for your students to become more mission minded then you could do that through a mission trip, various serve your city events, a weekly Bible study focused on missions, etc. My goal in the summer has always been to build relationships within our ministry. We use this time to do a fun, social event every 7-10 days that is not intimidating and anyone can show up even if they missed the previous one or four events. The Bible studies we do are similar in that they are not based off the previous week but are rather one-session studies all connected to one main theme but not based on the other weeks of content.
- YOU MUST HAVE AN EVALUATION – This may be the most important part and most likely the most forgotten part. It is the most important because you are not likely to get your vision and strategy correctly accomplished each summer. But, if you evaluate it then you can learn from the “what went right” and the “what went wrong” that summer. Many student pastors will finish an event and then not speak of it again until the following year when they do it again and make the same mistakes. If you evaluate every time and evaluate with honest opinions and actual facts then you can find out what really works and what needs to stop. You will also find ways to be a better steward of your resources as you determine what things can be purchased cheaper or sourced out through volunteers ahead of the event. Evaluate with your team, with students, and with volunteers to determine what really worked and what went wrong or didn’t work.
Summer calendars are very important for your ministry. Take time to plan and plan well in advance. Reserve, earlier than later, what needs to be reserved. Purchase, earlier than later, what needs to be purchased. Be a vision caster and a strategy implementer so you can have your best summer yet!
Scott Huff is the Student Pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, KY. He is a graduate of Hannibal LaGrange College and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a former college basketball player and golfer. He has been a Student Pastor and a camp/event speaker for more than ten years. Scott and his wife, Lori, have two children and he loves the St. Louis Cardinals and Kentucky Wildcats. You can connect with Scott on Twitter or Instagram: @scotthuff.