We don’t have a program for youth on the weekend… intentionally. I understand this is just our context, and many churches do have weekend programs, and there is nothing wrong with it (maybe). For our context, that is not just some random decision, but it fits within our vision and strategy for the young people of our church.
My question to you would be, do YOU have one?
We want our youth leads to be hyper-focused on pouring into and connecting with their leaders on the weekend. During weekends (for the most part), leads are there to be available and connect and perform campus needs. Leads can use this time for having intentional coffee and catch-ups before, between, and after services. We also run a youth section in our main auditoriums to connect with new families and students and help make our youth seem present on campuses.
- Leaders are already there, and this allows them to not be out another night a week.
- Touch-ins allow you to be their pastor, allows you to gauge where they are at, get feedback, and keep accountable with DYMU/correcting convos.
- For part-time leads, it’s a better use of your time to pour into leaders and students.
- Allow for connections for recruiting new leaders to join as group leaders.
- The result is better, more communicated, and cared for leaders.
For students on the weekends, we have two options we want them to be a part of.
- We want to sit with their families who come or in our youth section of the auditorium. Our lead pastor is their pastor. We get to serve students during their time in our ministry, but what happens when they graduate high school and they are not familiar with the lead pastor of our church? When they graduate high school, they graduate from our youth group and church. We want them to know our lead pastor.
- We want students serving. The long-term strategy to keep students engaged in church post-graduation should be getting them on Sandals Church Teams to help them be a part of something bigger than themselves with the goal of Attending a service, Serving a service. Why? When they serve, they are rubbing shoulders with other adult believers who are pouring into them, students are a part of something outside of our youth ministry, connecting them to the church overall, and they are growing in their faith by serving the church.
Again for you, it might be a thing. And that’s ok. What I don’t think is okay is doing it “because it’s always what we have done” so therefore, you just keep it. If it’s thought out, strategic, and intentional, I can get behind most things.
My hope is this might just get you thinking about what weekends can be for you.
If you want to listen to the Youth Ministry Podcast episode on how to build community amounts leaders, like mentioned above for the weekends, you can CLICK HERE to listen
Need some resources to hand to families and students to use during the week or when you aren’t meeting? Check out these great devotionals on DYM!