Tips to Keep Busy Teens Engaged This Summer
Family ministry isn’t the only church program facing a slump in the summer. Youth groups and teen ministries often drop off in the summer, too. Overall, a study by the Barna Group found that the busyness of youth and a lack of interest from parents are two of the biggest challenges in youth ministry.
The study also showed that getting kids involved in missions was an important way to build relationships and foster discipleship in youth. Many of the youth ministry professionals surveyed say that it’s important to get the whole family involved in missions, too.
If you’re looking to build relationships, keep kids involved, and foster faith in families, think about starting a Mission of the Month program this summer. Teens and parents don’t have to travel for this type of mission work - they stay right where they are, keep up with their normal routines, and simply come together for a few hours each month.
Pick a consistent date and time each month to gather and work on your group’s mission project. Invite only the youth group members to this monthly work session, but encourage them to work on their projects at home with their families, too.
Then, pick a project for each month. Here are a few stay-at-home mission suggestions that may appeal to your youth:
CWS (Church World Service) is a faith-based organization that provides resources to tackle hunger, poverty, displacement, and disaster around the world.
CWS kits are small packages of supplies assembled by volunteers and shipped to families and communities in need around the world. Your group can assemble hygiene kits, school kits, or emergency clean up buckets. In 2016, CWS distributed more than 200,000 kits in the United States, Angola, Honduras, and Syria - just to name a few locations.
Pajama Program works to give underprivileged children a loving bedtime and a restful night. To do this, they donate new pajamas and books to children in homeless shelters and group homes. Your youth group can help by organizing a donation drive and delivering the items to a local chapter.
Your youth group can support our troops and first responders through Operation Gratitude:
- Go shopping or hold a donation drive to collect items from their wish list.
- Make paracord survival bracelets, bandanas, or scarves and hats.
- Assemble care packages.
Band-Aid Bandage Drive
Children love colorful, fun bandages, but most hospitals have only the boring brown variety. Many communities have held Band-Aid bandage drives to collect superhero and princess bandages that bring smiles to sick children’s faces. Check with your local health organizations to see if this is possible in your city.
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