I realize some of us plan according to the school year, and others may lay out plans from the beginning of each New Year. However you do it, now is a great time to look at the year ahead and determine how you will impact your students’ spiritual walk with Christ.
The fall and early winter are great indicators of what’s worked with your students and what things didn’t go over so well. You also can evaluate which youth workers have been reliable and even exceeded your expectations, and which helpers weren’t very “helpful”. Discuss with your team (or pastor, if you’re flying solo) what changes you may need to make going into this New Year.
It may seem early, but January is the ideal time to begin rolling out your summer schedule. Parents need to know now what you have planned for their child’s summer so they can plan their own family trips and getaways. Let parents know what you have lined up for camps, conferences, mission trips, etc. They need to know dates and costs so they aren’t caught off guard. If you don’t inform parents what your summer looks like, you may not have kids attending your events because you didn’t communicate well with the parents.
It’s always important to know your budget for the year ahead so you make plans that stay within your budget. If you’re doing a fundraiser, estimate what you think you may raise and add it into your planned budget. Score brownie points by sitting down and doing this with your senior pastor!
Make sure to calendar different times and ways you will celebrate your youth workers and your graduates. Graduation is a huge milestone for your students; make sure they know you appreciate them having been a part of the youth group. Your volunteers also need to know they are important- find creative ways to express how much you value them!
Gene DeKeno is the Director of Children, Youth & Family Ministries in Albuquerque, NM in the church he grew up in. He takes his experience as a child of a broken & blended family to inspire kids and parents to have a life and home centered on Christ. He serves his church and community with the help of his amazing wife of 15yrs and their two incredible kids. He loves all things Chicago, especially its great food and World Championship Cubs! Connect with him on Twitter or Instagram (@genedekeno)