School is starting to wind down which means summer season is right around the corner. At this point most of your summer activities have been planned and it’s a season most of us look forward to. The only problem is that it flies by leaving us loathing the workload this fall.
This usually happens because our focus is one what’s right in front of us. And that shouldn’t be a problem, you want to be in a moment. So the question then becomes, “How does one enjoy the summer and get ready for the fall?”
EMBRACE THE POWER OF DELEGATING
You don’t have to prepare for the fall on your own, nor should you. Instead of spending countless amounts of energy balancing these two massive projects find people who can either focus on the summer or the fall. You need a team who can help you:
- Send out reminder emails to parents and teens about camp.
- Do the research for message series in the fall.
- Check in with vendors, and locations about logistics.
- Order materials and content that you’ll need for your fall activities.
Anything you don’t have to do give it away so that you can give yourself some margin.
PLAN A REAL VACATION
You need to make sure you have time to rest. Don’t just assume, “Well, it’s summer and I’ll naturally relax because the rest of the world is doing the same.” That doesn’t work. You need to give yourself a real opportunity to refuel.
If you can’t afford to go away take time off just to hang at home. If the family trip stresses you out (It’s okay to admit to it) then just take a day or two at home where you do nothing.
The more you can pace yourself in the summer the better off you’ll be for the fall. You need to make sure you are enjoying each season as well.
SET YOUR FALL GOALS THIS WEEK
Memorial Day hasn’t hit so you still got time. Sit down and set some real, tangible goals for the fall. Make them big on your calendar and share them with people who will help you execute each one.
By having goals you can measure your progress. You can use them as a way of answering the question, “How am I doing?” If you find yourself hitting each goal, that’s great, create more. If you find yourself falling short then take some time to answer the question, “What needs to change about my habits?”
MAKE TIME WITH STUDENTS R&D
Hopefully this summer you’ll be spending plenty of time with students at camps, on mission trips and just hanging out. Use some of the time you have with students as a laboratory for some of the things you might want to do this fall. For example:
At camp test out a game you’d like to do at your program.
During a bus trip ask teens about areas where they’d like to grow in their faith.
While you want to get to know them personally, don’t be afraid to seek their wisdom and insight on how to improve your program. It’s real simple but highly effective.
INVEST IN OTHERS
You probably don’t have a lot of time to add things to your plate but making your summer relational is going to pay big time. Hang around the adult ministry programs and get to know parents this summer. Meet them for coffee or a bite to eat and invite them to learn more about the ministry.
These small gestures will be huge when you are only 3 weeks out from your first program and you realize that you need 10 more volunteers. You’ll have a list of people you can call and the ask won’t be as awkward.
Your summer is coming and it’s going to be great, just don’t let it fly by. Give yourself a plan and share your responsibilities with others. The better your summer strategy the more ready you’ll be for this fall.
How do you balance both summer programming and summer planning?