For some of you youth ministers, the end of summer is here.
Sure, you're probably still wrapping things up. Me? I'm helping tear down buildings and gut houses in Moore, Oklahoma with several of my teens and college kids this week. But this is our last big event until Fall Retreat. You're probably doing the same. Maybe it's VBS, or a DayCamp, a lock-in (let's hope not), or a back-to-school barbecue. Whatever it is, for all intents and purposes, your summer is pretty much over.
Here's some recommendations I have for you on what to do now.
Take a break. You've earned it. Spend some time with your family, be it your wife and kids or your mom and dad - or both. Vacation time is now while the kids get back into school mode. Take a breather from work even if it's just a couple of days. And if you don't have any time off left, work only when you have to. You can take it easy for a couple of days and recharge.
Don't plan anything else in August. Most kids start back to school pretty early in August now, some not until mid-August. Have your back-to-school barbecue or your regular Wednesday night eating deal, but don't plan any major events at least for the next month. Your kids need a break to concentrate on getting back to school and you a break to plan some fall events. Parents will appreciate this short lull as their kids get back into the grind of school. Don't be that guy that figures he has to have an event every week. This is not the time of the year to do that.
Do a summer review. Get your youth committee, your elders, or both of them together and do a summer review NOW. Don't wait on this. Write a summer report while it's still fresh on your mind - just a couple of pages on your major events and what went right and what didn't go so right in said events. Ask your parents and leadership for suggestions on what could be done better. Were the events spiritually-focused? Were the events managed well? How could they have gone better?
Organize, organize, organize. I talked about this already, but you really need to do this. Organize your files and papers from your different events, your files on your computer from those events, organize your storage area for supplies and equipment so you're not having to do it before camp next year.
These are just a few things I will be doing to end my summer. What will you be doing?