Keeping Summer Fun and Meaningful for Your Youth Ministry


Summer is a time when students get to relax, unwind, and have fun. But for youth pastors, the summer season can be challenging as it means changing schedules and programming for their student ministry. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming for youth pastors to decide what to do with their youth group over the summer months. As a youth leader, it’s important to balance fun with purpose and meaning to keep students engaged and excited to continue their faith journey. So, how can youth pastors keep summer programming fun and meaningful for their youth ministry?

Get outside

During summer, students are always eager to get outside and enjoy the sunny days. Plan outdoor activities such as scavenger hunts, beach trips, camping, or hiking. These activities will help students connect with their peers, build stronger relationships, and enjoy God’s beautiful creation. You can also include small devotionals or Bible studies during these outdoor activities to make sure that the fun and games are combined with spiritual growth.

Attend Youth Conferences

Christian retreats or youth conferences are impactful events that can help students deepen their faith and connect with their peers from other churches. There are tons of opportunities for Christian conferences that cater to the interests of their youth group. Whether it’s a music festival, discipleship retreat, or a life changing summer camp experience, these events will help students grow closer to God while enjoying the summer season.

Serve the Community

Summer is an ideal time to get involved with community service projects. Try organizing volunteering events for students to serve in their local church, community center or food bank. These projects can help teach students the value of serving others, promote teamwork and create a sense of belonging while having a fun time together.

Build Relationships

Summer provides a unique opportunity for youth pastors to build relationships with the students in their ministry. Small group activities, game nights or movie nights where you can connect with their students on a personal level can be invaluable to your ministry. When youth pastors invest in their students, students feel valued and a greater sense of connection to their youth group.

Allow Creativity

Lastly, allow for creativity when planning summer activities. They should encourage students to suggest new ideas and activities that interest them. Getting feedback from students will help to keep them engaged and motivated. Thinking outside the box leads to developing tailor-made summer activities that will produce connection, fun, and stories for years to come!

Summer is a unique time of year for the youth ministry. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming for youth pastors to decide what activities to organize over the summer months. However, youth groups can have a fun and exciting summer that is also meaningful and purposeful! The key is to balance fun and creativity with spiritual growth and impactful experiences. Youth pastors can help students build stronger relationships with God and their peers while having some fun in the sun.

Josh Tarp, Author

About the Author

Josh Tarp is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and worship leader from Minneapolis with over 15 years of experience in church & worship leadership. Josh serves as the Director of Marketing at Motion Worship, helping to write various blog posts, managing social media, designing graphics, and handling customer service.

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