Christmas vacation in youth ministry has its challenges… on one hand it’s time away from school for students, which provides an amazing opportunity for youth ministry leaders to invest relationally in students. However, Christmas screams “family” and not only do we want our students to invest time in their families, leadership should be doing the same.
So, how should a youth ministry schedule the Christmas break? How can you protect the family (yours and theirs) yet still invest in the program and people during a time when some simply have the time to be invested in? Here is a short list of some ideas.
Simply let people know that “I’ll be there if you want to join me.” Be clear that these are NOT youth group events and not chaperoned, but any are welcome (including families)
- Shopping Spree and Food Court Madness (name the time you’ll be at the food court and students/families can plan their shopping time).
- Pick-A-Flick Matinee (name the theater and movie time for a “family-safe” film)
- Coffee Talk (name the time/shop you’ll be at for anyone who wants to join for a coffee-talk).
- Late Night Appetizers (many sit-down restaurants offer 1/2 off appetizers after 9pm, let the students know the time and place and you’re bound to have a great turnout!).
These will likely require a release form and a little shepherding, but not much planning.
- De-Lighting (right around the New Year, gather students, walk a prominently lit-up neighborhood and serve your neighbors by helping to take down their outdoor lights.
- Food Banks or Soup Kitchens (many community services are looking for volunteers during this crazy time, get your group signed up for a couple hour shift and you’ll be doing relationships and service with very little planning required).
I loved Christmas break as a Youth Pastor, I would typically do a few events like the ones above and took advantage of the time away from regular program to do the administrative stuff that would sustain the upcoming spring programming. And who could forget, I’d also use the time to prepare for “National Associate Pastor Preaching Sunday” (seriously, does any Senior Pastor preach the week between Christmas and New Year?).
Have some other ideas for events youth leaders can do that are simple yet highly relational? Spread the love by commenting!