Is fun okay when it comes to student ministry? This question actually involves more tension than I ever thought. On one side you have student ministries who seem to have fun as their core value. Other ministries seem to hold fun as the unforgivable sin. Here is where I have landed.
Who does not want to have fun? Everyone wants to enjoy what they are doing. What the question of “fun events” in ministry is really asking is if it’s okay to just do something because it is enjoyable. When it comes to doing a fun event, if you are only doing it because it is fun, then the event may not be a problem but your approach may be.
Fun events can have several purposes if they are done with some intentionality:
- Fun events build community and connect students with one another.
- Fun events build excitement around the student ministry.
- Fun events help build relationships between adult volunteers and your students who are served by these volunteers.
- Fun events build memories for your students who will, later in life, remember positive feelings in their relationship with church.
- Fun events help bring in students who may not enjoy parsing greek verbs during Bible study (you guys all do that right?).
- Fun events let you let loose, and they allow your students to see you having fun with them.
I will definitely agree that fun events should not be the foundational element of your ministry. For us, small groups are really the place where we seek to do our deep discipleship, but our fun events, such as playing laser tag or going to the zoo, allow our students to be discipled in a different way. The issue here is maintaining balance in your ministry and making sure that you are working towards your vision and goals.