summer checklist, youth ministry, student ministry, summer ministry

Your Summer Ministry Checklist

By Andy Lawrenson June 22, 2017

Welcome to summer, everyone! For most of us, summer is a super busy season filled with camps, mission trips, amusement park days, retreats, service projects….the list goes on. We love these events, but they require a huge time investment on top of our normal planning and weekly programming. With all the busyness that comes with this wonderful season of sunshine and pool parties, let’s make sure we don’t forget what’s most important.

Your Summer Ministry Checklist

  • Invest in students

    • In the midst of summer details and logistics, don’t miss out on opportunities to invest in students. Take advantage of the fact that students aren’t in school. Get together and hang out, meet for a morning Bible study, or plan a fun summer activity with a small group of students.
  • Invest in your volunteers

    • Make sure that you are also investing in your team of adult volunteers. Plan something fun for your team, or schedule a series of short trainings to better equip your volunteers.
  • Delegate, delegate, delegate

    • I learned the hard way that ministry is always best when done with others. Determine areas where your volunteers excel, and then delegate aspects of summer planning and logistics. God has placed people around you as a resource, and they are waiting to discover the joy of serving.
  • Explore new curriculum

    • Look around for a curriculum that highlights what you’re most excited to teach about this summer and next fall. A good lesson outline can free you up to plan and invest in students and make good use of your time and resources. You may even want to tap into your local youth ministry network and have everyone plan a two-week series to share.
  • Spend quality time with God

    • Make it a priority to spend time with God daily. We encourage our students to have a consistent quiet time, and we need to do the same, especially when we hit our busy season. With so much on our to do list, we’re bound to get worn out unless we find our true rest in the Lord.
  • Protect your family time

    • Keep your relationships from suffering; set aside time in your schedule to spend with your family, spouse, and friends. We all need time away from students to recharge, relax, and refuel. If you’re married, go on dates with your spouse. If you’re single, plan a night out with close friends. Ask for extra days off (comp time, not vacation time) when you come back from a mission trip or summer camp. We will not do our student ministry or church any good if we burn out or are operating on fumes.
  • Use sunblock and hydrate

    • Don’t be that guy who forgets to take care of the small things, and besides, your mom will be happy if you remember to put on sunblock and drink water.


The summer ministry season is full and exciting; both its challenges and its opportunities are many. So keep to what’s most important. Invest well. Plan well. Pursue time with the Lord. Guard your time with family. And have a great and meaningful summer of ministry!

Andy Lawrenson

About the Author

Andy Lawrenson

Andy Lawrenson has been in student ministry for 26 years both as a volunteer and paid staff member.  Andy and his wife, Misha, have been married for 28 years and have three children: a son in middle school and twin eight-year-olds, a boy and girl. Andy loves getting together with other youth pastors to talk about […]

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