Ahhh summer! For some hard working youth leaders, it’s the time of year where they can dip their toes in a refreshing pool and take a few deep breaths before ramping up for their next youth ministry year. For other hard working youth leaders, it’s a time packed with summer mission trips, camps, Vacation Bible School and other summer ministry activities.
Summer (even one or two days of it) is a much deserved time for you and your leaders to recharge. It’s also a good time to get ahead on your strategy and calendar for the upcoming year. But the last thing you’ll want to do is spend an exorbitant amount of time making plans for the beginning of your year during your recharging or event-filled summer.
Instead, consider using a Catalytic Event planned and hosted by someone else to kickstart your way into an unforgettable year!
But before we get into the benefits of using these events, here’s what I mean by “Catalytic Event”. A Catalytic Event is one that:
- Is more than just a fun event for youth leaders and teens to attend.
- Its purpose is to come alongside youth leaders and give them momentum toward a particular area of interest (prayer, evangelism, studying the bible, and so on).
- Is typically used in conjunction with other activities, lessons, and themes throughout the year. (They’re not meant to be a “stand-alone” event that’s attended and forgotten.)
- Has evergreen material for the youth leader.
So because these events are so dynamic, there are a few benefits to using them in your ministry. Here are 3 benefits to starting your ministry year with a Catalytic Event:
1. It will help you give your teens a vision for their faith (for life!).
You’ve heard the verse, “Where there is no vision, the people perish...“ (Proverbs 29:18) It’s often used to encourage pastors and youth pastors leading their congregation. But what about using it to guide your students where to walk in their faith?
For students, it’s all too easy (and somewhat boring!) to show up week after week and just engorge on spiritual words and worship. Without a vision challenging and guiding the application of their faith when they go to school, hang out with friends, during their free time, or when they leave for college, they lose sight of where they’re walking spiritually.
Catalytic Events help you and your teens tap into the same vision of where to take their faith for the season they are in and for the rest of their life!
How? Take a Catalytic Event on evangelism for example. An event on sharing their faith will inspire and teach your teens to live their life on mission for the gospel. It will give them the tools and practice to have conversations with anyone about their own beliefs, ask about another person’s beliefs and be able to give a gospel invitation. Knowledge like this can be used for life!
2. It will help you take a load off.
The beginning of a ministry year isn’t the same without some kind of a kickoff event. These events do a great job of:
- Reeling students back in from summer
- Inspiring them for their faith
- Encouraging them to bring their friends to hear the gospel
- Setting the tone for the rest of your year together
- Helping you and your youth leaders transition from summer ministry to regular year ministry
Even with all the benefits of kickoff events, they still require a lot of work (rightly so) from you and your leaders. So why not let a Catalytic Event help you out this year? Let these events take on all the planning, production costs, setup/tear down, promotion material and curriculum cost, so that all you, your leaders and students have to do is show up.
It will be a load off the end of your summer, off your team of leaders, and off your ministry calendar. That way, you can spend more of your time doing what you actually want to do with your teens: digging deeper into discipling them.
3. It will help you organize your year-long ministry calendar.
When you attend catalytic events like Dare 2 Share LIVE, even youth leaders benefit from attending. I’m not just talking spiritually. Many of these events build in or have follow-up sessions for youth leaders to dig deeper with the event’s material. (Including any additional resources they have.)
But, make sure you bring your ministry calendar with you. You’re sure to walk away with a handful (if not more) of ideas you’ll want to use this year!
Beyond picking up a little creativity, these sessions are also a great way to help you get or stay organized. And why not take advantage during this time? Many youth leaders use the discussions to help prioritize their activities and lessons, ask other youth leaders questions, clear roadblocks to their ministry calendar, and (if necessary) adjust their bold vision. You’ll be thankful you took the time now over later!
Let Catalytic Events Go to Work for You!
Though I’ve only listed three benefits, catalytic events have many more advantages to helping your ministry start the school year off well. The secret to letting them work for you lies with how you leverage the event.
Use catalytic events for more than just something fun kids have a fond memory of. Use them to set a vision for your teens, to free up some of your time and to help you plan a solid youth ministry year.
Because when you let them work for you in these ways, you can refocus your efforts on getting into the nitty gritty of what you signed up for in the first place: sharing your love of God with teens and making true Kingdom impact.