Ways to make Famine a year round event!


Sean Garner, Director of Youth Ministry at Hempfield United Methodist Church, Lancaster Pennsylvania

It’s hard to believe that all your energy, time and effort to coordinate the 30 Hours Famine can disappear only a month or two after you’ve completed the event. Multiply the attention span of your teams by the amount of time they spend AWAY from your church during the week and imagine how quickly your teens forget about those who are hungry.

Here are a few ideas to keep the momentum of your Famine continuing through the year…

Monthly ministry updates-
Take your calendar for the year out right now and mark the event each month (Sunday School, small group or large group event) where you’ll say something about the Famine. It doesn’t take much to keep the idea of what your student’s experienced in their mind. From a simple illustration during the lesson, a slide during your announcement loop or a joke about something that happened during your experience- each opportunity to integrate the 30 Hour Famine in your group creates momentum. Marking it on your calendar right NOW makes the process simple.

6 minutes in the 6th month-
Now, take your calendar and figure out a date six months from your Famine weekend to give more than just a reference to it. For instance, save one of the videos that you can find online (or received in your famine packet) and play it as the student enter the room. Use one of the tribal games again (they’ll remember it) for your ministry or show pictures of the famine to remind them of their experience. A few simple minutes reminds them of the famine.

Advertise everywhere-
Start recruiting EARLY for your famine, no matter what the date. If humanly possible (and for many of us it may require significant help from the Holy Spirit and our church’s leadership team) set the date for your famine. In a clear and effective way let parents and students know your plans. Can’t plan far enough ahead to tell them by September? Wait until Thanksgiving break or Christmas break- but make sure it is clear and church-wide.

Prayer powers it all-
The first people to target are prayer people! You know those older members of your church that meet to pray at your church? Give them the date and information for your famine as early as possible. Print out a simple page with the first names of your students in your church’s prayer room who participated in last year’s famine. In simple ways, open the opportunities for prayer to power your famine (along with your ministry) LONG before it begins.