Summer is one of my favorite times to do student ministry. But sometimes summer can be an expensive time for your ministry as well. With the price of taking your student to camp or taking them on a missions trip, your budget can take a beating. We have a lot planned for our students this summer, but we are trying to save as much money as we can. Here are some practical ways you can do great student ministry during the summer while saving some money.
Make relationships a priority. Building relationships with students doesn’t have to cost you money. During the summer, focus on hanging out with your students. Don’t spend all day, everyday in your office. Go visit students at their house or meet some of them in a park. Summer is a great time for relationship building so make that a priority this summer. At the end of the day, relationships with your students may be more effective than camp or a huge event. Use the summer months to build stronger relationships with your students. Don’t worry, they have plenty of time being out of school.
Switch between camp and a missions trip each summer. Two things I love in student ministry are camp and mission trips. Doing both of these in one summer can be expensive as well as time-consuming. A great idea to save money and time would be to switch between camp and a missions trip each summer. Also, I have seen student ministries go on trips that were a mix of camping and missions. This could be a great way to get both experiences while saving some money.
Partner with other churches. One thing you can do to save money in the summer, as well as the rest of the year, is partner with other student ministries for activities and events. If you want to do a big event this summer, think about partnering with another church. This allows you guys to spend less money each while still having a big event. Some of the best events I have done has been the result of partnering with other student ministries.
Get outside as much as possible. Try to plan activities that are outside. For example, we are doing an outdoor movie night in July. Even during your mid-week gathering, have some large group games outside. We are doing slip n’ slide kickball outside after a Wednesday night meeting (click here to see a few of the water games we are doing this summer). Students don’t want to spend hours inside a youth room when it’s nice outside. Take them outside and do ministry out there! This can be wear you spend some money, but it will not be that much. Take advantage of the summer weather.
These are just a few ideas that are helping us save some money this summer. Again, the summer can be a great time for your student ministry, but be smart and creative so you don’t spend too much money from your budget.