Student Ministry in the summer is one of my favorite things in the whole world. I love that the students are available to just hang out. I love that we are able to mix up our schedules a bit and change pace. I love seeing the growth that students experience from our summer programs and events. I also love that it wears me out.
We had a great summer complete with an in-depth Bible study, camp, and mission projects. It was fun, exhausting, and stretching. As always, we wanted to spend some time thinking about what worked and what we can improve. As we worked to evaluate the summer, there were a few things key things that I wanted to make sure that we accomplished. Here are the questions we asked:
1. Did we help students grow in their faith in a special way? Our goal was to give students opportunities to grow in their faith that they might not be able to have during the school year. We wanted to take advantage of their open schedules and their energy.
2. Did we open the door for new students to become involved? We wanted to do things that encouraged fringe students to get plugged in and find a connection. We also wanted to create environments where students wanted to bring their friends.
3. Did we develop students as leaders? One of the messages that we put out there this summer is that students, particularly older students, need to start realizing their leadership and the disciple making abilities. We want them to understand their role as mentors and influencers.
4. Did we find a balance between discipleship focused events and fun-oriented events? Trips to Holiday World are great and provide positive memories and connection, but we did not want the summer to only be about being entertained. We wanted students to also experience mission work and encounter a picture of faith that requires sacrifice and commitment.
As we evaluate, I feel like we accomplished most of what we wanted to accomplish. We built momentum for the school year, and time will tell if some of the things that we did actually have born fruit for our students. I am hopeful that the growth that we saw in the students will manifest itself into lifestyles based on Christ.