I grew up in Southern California where, for all practical purposes, there are no seasons. The weather doesn’t change much. Sunny and 75 most of the time. When I moved to Texas I anticipated that I would get to experience seasons like fall and winter. The difference is that the weather changes wildly here. It’s unpredictable. Today it’s 75 and sunny. By Friday the high is supposed to be 33. When the seasons are unpredictable, it’s hard to get your bearings. Just as you’re about to get out your winter gear, it’s shorts weather again.
It’s the same way in ministry. We need to understand that we have seasons in youth ministry. The more we understand our seasons, the better we can see the big picture.
God sets this precedent. He rested on the seventh day. He created a world where there are times of planting and times of harvest. He commanded his people to celebrate in certain seasons. He even commanded the Israelites to rest the land for a full one year out of seven.
Our ministry slows down during three key times (Christmas, May and August). Our ministry ramps up during the summer, spring and fall. Different seasons fulfill different purposes in our ministry. If we went full speed all year long we would wear ourselves and our students out.
There is a method to our madness. You need to think about your ministry seasonally because of what it can bring to your ministry.
Seasonal youth ministry gives rest to leadership. Your leaders spend a good portion of the year pouring into students. They need times where they can take a break and recharge. If you go full speed all year long, you will wear them out. Eventually they won’t want to come back. Give them rest and they will have longevity.
Seasonal youth ministry gives room for planning. If you are busy all year long, you won’t have time to adequately plan for the future. I’m not just talking calendars. You need to create space for creativity, to pray for discernment, and to think intentionally about what you will be teaching.
Seasonal youth ministry blesses families. We slow down in December because of all the Christmas parties, travel and shopping. We slow down in May because many families are pushing hard through finals and graduations. We slow down after summer because families are getting ready for the school year. Gearing up in the summer helps our families that have middle schoolers with lots of time on their hands. Our ability to plan seasonally will help families during their seasons.
The key is this: slowing down actually makes our busy times more effective.
If you aren’t thinking seasonally in your ministry. You’ll probably see less fruit and will have a higher chance of burn out. Every ministry is different, your seasons may not look like mine, but you need to embrace the seasons of your ministry.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/LibickHawaiiChristmasPhoto.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info]Kevin Libick is a Middle School Pastor living in Fort Worth, TX with his wife Kara and her two cats. He is a novice banjo picker and expert Hawaiian food eater. Kevin loves to connect with other youth workers and equip them to live out their calling in God’s Kingdom. Connect with Kevin on Twitter: @kevinlibick[/author_info] [/author]