Summer time is here and in ministry these couple of months can be a time to rest from previous seasons of busyness. This is not the case, however, if you are in Kids or Student Ministry. As a matter of fact, the summer months can be some of your busiest times in ministry. The kids are out of school, which means the ministries that serve them get geared up to create a memorable summer.
It is also the time of year that juggling the volunteer schedule becomes a three ring circus. People in, people out, trading classrooms, last minute trips and sometimes they just need a break. The kids and students still come every weekend, but there are some weekends that leave you wondering if anyone will show up to serve them.
Schedules, volunteers, supplies, curriculum, planning, events, VBS, camp, parent meetings, salvation weekends and trainings happen fifty two times a year. No weekend is ever the same and every weekend has the chance for complete chaos. When summer comes, most ministry leaders have experienced the highs and lows of an intense ministry season and because of it some just need a break.
What happens, though, when you get to the beginning of summer and you are already worn out from the rest of the ministry season?
Let’s face it…the rest of the year is pretty busy too, but when the exhaustion starts to knock on the door, it’s a great idea to have a pocket full of ideas on how to beat the summer slump in ministry.
1) Schedule Down Time For Yourself – When working on your ministry calendar for the year make sure to plan out time throughout the year that you can take off. Try to take a weekend off at least once a quarter. Your team can cover for you, and the mental break you get from making yourself be “off” for the weekend brings you the extra energy you need for the summer slump.
2) Build an Amazing Team – It seems like this does not need to be said, but there is not a single person I know that can do ministry alone. You need a team to make ministry happen, so while you are building your team, go ahead and build an amazing one. Share the load with them and allow them to lead in areas that are not your strengths.
“You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself… They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. Exodus 18:18, 22 NLT
3) Enjoy A Sabbath Day – There is one day a week, every week, where you just need to unplug and rest. For years I worked seven days a week, at all hours of the day, and it has only been in the last few years that I have really clung to the Biblical mandate for a Sabbath rest. Since I have, ministry has been so much sweeter.
For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:11 ESV
4) Build in Margin – When planning the summer calendar for your ministry, also make sure you build in margin. Events and activities need a little breathing room in between them…for you and for your volunteers. The goal is not to do a bunch of things mediocre, but to do a few things with excellence. That takes time, energy and resources. Building in margin helps with all of these things for you, the volunteers and those you minister to.
5) Have Fun – There is no other job in the world like being in ministry. It is difficult, yes, but it is also completely indescribable. You have been called by God to serve those He brings in your path. It is not up to you to change their lives. It’s up to you to point them to the One who does. We serve a loving, kind, compassionate God who loves us no matter what, that right there is reason enough to have fun on this amazing journey with Him.
What about you? Is the Summer Time Slump in Ministry knocking on your door?
What’s one thing you can do today to turn that summer time slump into a super summer in your ministry?