The warm, school-free days of summer are coming to an end, and your students’ free time will practically vanish in just a few weeks. Looking back, how did this summer measure up to your overall ministry goals? Were you able to use it to its full potential and keep students focused on the gospel?
Summer in youth ministry has its pros and cons, but the warmer weather and extra free time make summer ideal for doing outreach activities as a youth group. If you still want to squeeze in a few more outreach activities, these ideas from “The Ultimate Guide to Outreach Ideas for Your Youth Group” will help you maximize the last days of summer break and get your students serving others and sharing the gospel.
Idea #1: Host a “gospelized” car wash.
A classic summer sight is teenagers on the street corner holding signs for a car wash—usually for the cheer team, National Honor Society, etc. Turn this traditional fundraiser idea into an outreach event where students can serve the community and share the gospel!
This idea is from a youth pastor named Josh Weatherspoon in Virginia. Josh says,
“We did an outreach event called the ‘$1 Car Wash.’ As people pulled in to get their car washed, they’d try to give us money up front, to which we’d tell them that we’d get it all settled up after their car was clean.
“Once clean, we would then have them look their car over and we would give them $1 (or at least try to). This would lead into a somewhat natural transition based on this simple analogy about grace and God giving us what we didn’t deserve.”
Check out this post for a closer look at how to “gospelize” a car wash and to find a list of supplies you’ll need. This idea is also included in Dare 2 Share’s eBook called 5 Outreach Ideas for Summer for Youth Ministry that has even more awesome warm weather outreach ideas.
Idea #2: Picnic at the park.
When the weather’s nice, parks and other public places can fill up fast with people who want to enjoy the weather, but who also probably need the gospel. Brandon Van Dyk, one of Dare 2 Share’s youth leader friends from California, shared this outreach idea with us that’s perfect for summer:
“We have a park nearby where homeless people frequent. If you plan on serving your students lunch or some sort of snack, buy a little extra. Have your students share their food and their life story with the people they meet. It’s encouraging to watch students fan out and begin offering a slice of pizza, a dose of encouragement, a listening ear, intercessory prayer and the gospel.”
Find a more in-depth version of this idea and other summer outreach ideas for youth ministry in this free eBook from Dare 2 Share!
Idea #3: Ice cream outreach.
Ice cream isn’t super appetizing when it’s freezing outside, but it’s always a favorite treat in the summertime.
In these last few weeks before school, challenge your students with an “Ice Cream Outreach” initiative. The challenge is to take one unsaved friend out for ice cream, to ask intentional questions, and start a gospel conversation.
Before you commission your students for this Ice Cream Outreach month, train them on initiating and navigating gospel conversations. (Check out these gospel-sharing resources from Dare 2 Share for help training your students!) And of course, prioritize tons of prayer and encouragement during youth group. This will help your students feel well-prepared, prayed for, and empowered to share the gospel.
Then at the end of the Ice Cream Outreach month, take all your students out for an ice cream celebration during youth group and ask for testimonies of how they saw God work in their conversations. Hopefully you’ll have a few new faces in the group that your students have brought along—a perfect opportunity to explain the gospel to those who have more questions about Jesus.
This idea is one of eight from this article from Dare 2 Share that will help you advance the gospel through your youth ministry.
Transform Your Students Through Outreach
Regular outreach activities can radically change the culture of your youth group. Through these experiences, students metamorphize from spiritual consumers into spiritual contributors. Instead of viewing youth group as a time to meet their needs and preferences, outreach helps students focus on the needs of others—especially the need for the gospel.
Doing outreach activities now will also prepare your students for Dare 2 Share LIVE—an event that will keep the others-focused, gospel-advancing momentum going in your youth ministry once school starts. Plus, it’s easy to participate in because all the gospel training and planning is done for you!
If you haven’t already, find a Dare 2 Share LIVE Satellite Site near you and purchase your Church Kit. This Church Kit lets you bring as many students as you want to the event, and it includes amazing pre-event training material including the Life in 6 Words curriculum! This training material will perfectly complement any outreach activity you do, and it will pump up your students for what they’ll learn at Dare 2 Share LIVE.
Teaching students to live for Christ and no longer for themselves is one of the most important lessons you could ever teach them. Outreach activities are just one way to help them get there, and we hope to see you at Dare 2 Share LIVE 2019 to keep the momentum going!