As we head into the final month before the summer, many youth ministries are looking to finish their ministry season well. Here are some great ways to wrap up:
- Celebrate achievements: Whether through an online forum or in your final youth meeting, celebrate all the ways God has blessed these students. Perhaps have them write down specific highlights and either post them on aboard for the church to see or in your social media channels.
- Send off your grads well: A key transition point is from high school to post-secondary. Make sure the grade 12 grads receive a blessing from the youth ministry and the church as they embark on their next chapter of life.
- Have a summer challenge: Your students may be all over the place this summer (i.e., at cottages, summer camps, missions trips or working full-time). A summer challenge can help keep them connected, even if they can’t meet regularly. For example, use the Canadian Bible Society’s “It’s About Life” Scripture challenge, available at youth.biblesociety.ca.
- Have debrief interviews with your staff: As you wrap up the year, it’s good to have (preferably face-to-face) meetings with your volunteers to celebrate their highlights, identify areas for growth and receive feedback about your supervision. (When I do a debrief interview, I typically ask: 1. What were 3 things you felt you did well? 2. What are 2 things you would have done differently? 3. How could I have better supported you?)
- Get feedback from students and parents: Whether through online surveys, phone calls or through group conversations, allow students and parents to give their insights on how this past year went.
- Ask your supervisor for a debrief interview: Similar to debriefs with your staff, ask your supervisor (whether it’s your senior pastor, Christian Ed committee chair or deacon) to give feedback. You should also report key insights you want them to be aware of for next year.
- Start planning for next year: This doesn’t mean you’ve already got your week-by-week meetings all planned out. Rather, start prayerfully considering what God is directing this youth ministry towards in the fall, and what are some pieces you need to begin to set in place now.
These are some ways to help you finish strong. What other things do you do?