Once upon a time, back in the olden days, in a land far, far away, families did not have to choose between church and extra curricular activities. Sunday was sacred. No one dared schedule any other community activity Sunday mornings. Those days are now only a fairy tail.
As church staff, we are frustrated when our youth and families quite coming. Do we start an anti sports campaign? Fire our youth ministers since kids are too busy to show up anyway? Pretend that emailing home devotions to people are actually used and call it family ministry? I asked for positive ideas and got some great ones.
Positive Ministry Ideas For An Extra Curricular Ministry
- Redefine extra curricular activities as places to be in ministry. People care for people everyday, every where and in every relationship. People are already doing ministry, we just forgot to tell them. Now we need to equip them.
- Use some of the Peer Ministry Leadership skills for caring, welcoming and affirming with families so they know how to they can be in ministry at events.
- An accompaniment model says we show up. Instead of assuming ministry is about coming to our building and programs, ministry can be considered going an being with. Be the church outside the walls. Encourage staff and participants to show up.
- Adapt and send your version of the “Activities Letter,” included in this E-news.
- Include an “Activites Milestone.” Invite youth to bring a game ball, dance shoes, musical instrument etc… Bless their ministry! Even anoint their equipment. Stress ministry with the people they interact with. Be sure anointing in not interpreted as a blessing to achieve winning.
- Gather families, use the “Candle Time” included in this E-news. Help them practice while at church, then ask them to continue it at home. “Families will not do in their homes what they have not first practiced at church.”
- Show up at activities. Meet and greet parents. Send notes to participants cheering them on. Take pictures. Post them on your churches board. “People Caring for People In Midst Of Community.”
- Hold team “huddles.” Various staff members meet with youth or families for one time prayer and conversation times throughout the community. Coffee houses, living rooms, some place before the “big game” is held.
- Interview youth and families. “How is your ministry going?” “How can we be praying for the people you as you caring, welcoming and affirming?”
- Include youth and families ministry that you hear about in worship prayer petitions. Use the stories shared in sermon illustrations. Invite youth and families to come and tell their stories.
- Include in your church staff’s job description time to participate in a community activity as a coach, director, accompanying a youth choir tour etc.
- Ask people! Listen. What is preventing you from participating? What can we do to better connect your life and faith and our church community?
- Don’t whine! – Meet with coaches and community leaders. It is amazing what listening and sharing can do. One person shared how a coach moved football camp because many of their youth wanted to go on a mission trip. Now they always check with each other.
- One group offers a hot breakfast for High school kids at their church on Tue. mornings. It is mostly athletes that attend. They talk about sports, stresses and share prayers for the week.
- Offer your facilities as a place for meetings or banquets. Role out the hospitality. Show up to greet and welcome. When appropriate offer prayer.
- Schedule “5th Quarter” events. Youth want to do something after the Friday night game. Offer an open youth room, movie, bond fire, even a lock-in.
- Consider how your church and staff can be a resource. A community with a strong scouting program that often conflicted with church events, discovered the scouts Religious Emblem Award. Now the church leaders work with the scouts to achieve this award.