In our ministry, from junior high to college, we only have two meetings for the rest of the year. This is my second year of going through the holiday season with this ministry and they do something that I have never been a part of before coming here. It is something they I love and its something we are going to keep doing for a few reasons.
Our ministry takes two weeks off over Christmas and New Years. Two weeks where there are no services, no meetings, no nothing during the holidays. We will do some casual meet ups and lunch while students are off school but for the most part, students are gone or busy during this time.
But here is why I think it is great:
Students get to be with family: It’s pretty simple. the holidays are always busy because of going to see family and there are trips and since they are out of school they have stuff going on. So instead of trying to compete with it, we encourage them to hang out with family and enjoy this time off.
Allows us to be crazy relational: Because there will be no program for 2 weeks, this allows our staff and our volunteers to be really relational during this time. We encourage leaders to reach out to students on the break and hang out with them while they are off school and have time to spend with them. While we won’t have programs, we will have some random pop up events to hang out and be with students.
It gives our team and leaders a breather: Our leaders are the best! Seriously, we couldn’t do what we do without them. This break allows them (and us) to take a needed break and breather to relax, refresh and come into the New Year ready to go and rock it because we will go non-stop weekly until this time again next year. The two weeks allows leaders to re-evaluate where they stand in our ministry and is a good time for them to exit if they need to and a great way for us to spend a few weeks gaining new ones.
I know not every ministry has the ability to do so but it is something to really consider going into this new year. Everyone deserves a break, even your students. There is always a fear of loosing the momentum that we have gained through the fall. What we have found is when we met during this time, attendance was minimal and it actually hurt momentum more. This two weeks without program causes students to miss what we do and when come back after New Year’s we do it up big with an outreach service (what we call One Night, One Life) and it’s a service to invite friends to and it’s always a huge hit. A great way to start the year.
Do you take a break? Do you ramp up? What do you do in these holiday seasons?