One of the best times for churches to grow is during the summer time. Ironically, this is when most church attendance drops in numbers. That doesn’t have to be the case! You see, the church is about much more than just growing in numbers, it’s about spreading the love of God. Jesus met others where they were. We see this time and time again and yet too often we want people to come to us. We should be going far out of our way to witness to others and to show them the love of God, just like that time Jesus met the woman at the well.
As you may know my husband and I are actively involved in our church. I don’t say this as an invitation for you to pat me on the back, for many years I didn’t even mention it on this blog. Yet, the reality is that it’s a major part of who I am. Kids ministry, in particular, is my passion but up until last year, I didn’t even know that was the case. However, what I could tell you is that the memories of my youth group during the summer is what helped shape me into the person that I am today.
During the school year, we might tell our kids and teens at church to invite all of their friends and to come out. I think it’s time to stop this practice. I mean, come on, if I were a kid or a teenager there would be nothing more embarrassing to do. Then the question arises, why? Why in the world should they tell their friends? Just because the leader at church told them to invite kids or teens to come out? No way. It wouldn’t happen. Now, maybe your kids are better than I was as a teenager, that’s cool.
Here’s what I think. I think that if the kids or the teenagers are having fun then they will want their friends to have fun too and they will invite them, naturally. Sadly, we old people tend to be too impatient thinking that we can’t have fun until the numbers are big. Throw away that philosophy. It’s just not any good.
If you create numerous activities for the kids or the teens during the summer then people will come. Don’t be lazy with it either, go big! Big doesn’t always have to mean expensive either. I know that it doesn’t make sense for every church out there to go on a week-long summer mission trip. It would be cool but isn’t that subdivision up the street still a mission field? What about that family that comes but isn’t very open to the rest of the church family yet? They are a mission field too. So you see, you don’t have to travel across the world to reach people. Use what you have, where you are. Better yet, use what God has given you where others are.
Summer Activities For Churches That Teens and Kids Love
Vacation Bible School is not a thing of the past and don’t you dare say or think that it is. Here’s the problem with most vacation Bible schools now, they don’t entertain the kids. Adults have gotten lazy with them and no longer see the full potential or value. We live in an age where kids know what’s fake and what’s real. Photoshop doesn’t trick many people these days and adults pretending to be excited doesn’t trick many kids. Get with the program or step aside because we need to go big! Our God is BIG!
Water Balloon Fight
You will need hundreds of balloons and unless you plan on filling them up all day I recommend the ones that fill up several at a time. Let the kids know that you are doing it too. Don’t disapoint them and change your mind either. I think there is nothing more disheartening than an adult, especially a leader, who doesn’t keep his or her word.
Kids and teens love getting wet! Let your guard down too. Back in the day they would separate boys and girls from each other but come on, I think that’s extreme. Let your kids get soaking wet with soap suds and earn the church a few dollars. Then put that money right back into the youth program so that the kids can keep on having more and more fun!
Local Baseball Game
I live outside the big ATL and I’m not sure about baseball where you live but here’s is a BIG DEAL. Take the youth group to the nosebleed section and let the memories and good times roll on.
Y’all this is so easy. A) you could build a giant fire pit outside church one Wednesday evening or if that’s a frowned upon thought then pop those smores in the oven. It works wonders! Oh, and it’s a smore so it’s yummy goodness that everyone wants to be a part of.
Yet another easy thing for churches to do. Once again just schedule this out for a Wednesday or Sunday night during a time frame that you want people to visit and just eat nachos. People love this.
Here’s yet another idea for that church hour time frame.
Okay, so let me talk to you about why we do things during that normal church time frame instead of making it a separate and special event. The church becomes exciting. These “events” are easy and simple enough that they don’t take much – if any, time away from your lesson and kids as well as teens want to come out. Who can blame them?
Pizza is getting cheaper and cheaper and people still love eating pizza. You could make this a big deal for certain people but I like spreading the yummy goodness so we just plan on everyone eating at least two pieces. Put a donation jar out if you feel the need but you know what, our God is the King of all Kings and He will bless those who bless. It’s only pizza but it represents so much more.
We’ve yet to do this at our church – but it’s coming! Here’s how to make those fun colored powders.
Pie The Leader
Hehe. Let the kids throw pies in your face. There are so many reasons as to why they could!
So, here’s a fun fact. Did you know that teenagers like to get away from their parents? Crazy, right? On a more serious note and I do hate ending this post this way but it must be said. If you choose to do a lock-in or a weeklong getaway please be sure to keep your teenagers and kids safe. Wolves walk around in sheep’s clothing. The Bible tell us so. Practice safety around all children and teenagers because their lives are important and they are someone’s baby.
Lauren is the author of Beauty and The Broken, an easy to read devotional for those who have lived a broken life. Topics range from prostitution to drug addictions.