It’s not like when you were a teen, when you were absolutely dreading school starting. Sure, there was meeting up with friends again, starting sports or band…but no more sleeping in, going to the pool, and playing until dark with no worries about packing your lunch for the next day.
Now, it is different. Sure there are some of those thoughts if you have kids in school. But for those in youth ministry…it’s an exciting new chapter, a whole new adventure beginning, and the chance to impact a whole new group of students. It’s exciting! That fall season is here…now what do you need to make sure you don’t forget? Here are 5 things that may help you:
1. Update the Roster
This is a bitter-sweet process. You are saying good-bye to your beloved seniors, and saying hello to the new 7th graders. Make sure you take the time to update the student roster with the new student’s school, birthday, contact information…maybe even become friends with them on Facebook.
Side note: Don’t forget about your seniors. Follow-up with them regularly, especially if you do not have a young adult ministry. Let them know you still care.
2. Raise expectations
Another year has passed, and hopefully you are raising leaders in your group. Raise the expectation of those that are ready – have a student-led praise band, get a student to do announcements, have a student be a prayer leader or a small group leader…whatever fits your context…just don’t underestimate your students.
3. Launch in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
Launch some new series, make some tweaks to your opening night, make this time an event…bring some excitement to the new school year. Gear up your praise band, launch new studies with video openers…raise the excitement level of what will be studied this year. Don’t let it be the same as last year.
4. Balance the Checkbook
These last few months are crucial in you making budget this year. Might be a good idea to take a look at your expenses vs. budget, and see if your next few months can fit that number.
5. Don’t touch that dial…I mean…Calendar
Hopefully you have set your calendar of events for at least until the end of the year. Some may have set it for the whole school year, well good for you. If you have not done either of these, you might want to update your resume. Either way, here’s a tip I learned a long time ago: Set your calendar, and DON’T add to it. You get in that habit of adding events, meeting times, etc., you will burn out your leadership team, your parents, AND your students.