As youth ministers, when we do something that works, it is usually not an accident. Great ministry takes thoughtful foresight. This month as you walk in ministry with your students, parents and volunteers, I encourage you to look up with an eye towards summer missions.
Specifically, February is the month to do the following:
As Wesleyans, we believe that it is God who begins the work and we who join him. The divine instigator, if you will. Wesley calls this holy instigation process prevenient grace and Google defines it as, “Divine grace that precedes human decision. It exists prior to and without reference to anything humans may have done.”
Ask God for his vision for summer missions. What is he is already doing, and how can we best join him?
If economics is the study of the allocation of scarce resources, youth ministry is often the practice of allocating those scarce resources. Reserve early so as to allocate your scarce resources wisely. In February reserve your transportation, housing, and job sites.
Families are already making summer plans, students are registering for camps and driver’s ed., potential adult leaders are choosing which days to ask off this summer. Begin praying about which adults to ask on the trip and then ask them! The same goes for students. A personal invitation is often the difference between who thought about signing up, and who is actually in a seat on the church van the day of the trip.
On a maddeningly administrative note, it’s imperative to provide ways for the people you’re inviting to follow through. Set up an online registration or print out a form requiring a parent’s signature. Just give a clear, obvious and easy way to accept your invitation!
Just as God goes before us preparing the way, He comes after us, sealing things up. The Wesleyan way is always a journey. We are not perfect yet, though we are (haltingly) on our way. Keep praying. Look up. We don’t prepare alone.