Taking the 30 Hour Famine to a New Church


Shawn Kiger, Wright’s Chapel United Methodist Church, Ladysmith, Virginia

550527_10152419299500696_341688173_nI just moved to a new church after being at my last church for 15 years. Last school year was the first time I have ever done the 30 Hour Famine. It was such a great experience for both the students and the entire church that I decided I needed to bring it to my new church. They have never participated in the Famine before so on a mission trip this past summer I talked to some of the students about it. At the end of the week, one of the traditions of this mission trip is for each church to make covenants of what they want to do when they get home to be in service to others. One of the things the students came up with is to do a 30 Hour Famine this school year. After participating in the Famine for the first time last year, I learned some things that are helping me with another new-to-the-Famine group of youth.  I thought it might be helpful to some of you to share what I learned:

1. Get your Senior Pastor on board. I like to keep my Senior Pastor fully aware of all my plans for youth ministry. But I think it is especially important for the 30 Hour Famine. I believe the Famine should be a church wide event and having the pastor’s support is vital.

2. Check the church calendar before you pick a date. My new church is heavily involved in missions and has lots of fundraisers. So that the congregation is not overwhelmed with which fundraiser to support, it is important to pick a time when there are not other fundraisers going on.

3. Plan some sort of event for the entire congregation. Last year, we planned a lunch after Sunday morning worship right after the event was over. We gave the students a chance to share what they learned during the Famine and to show some pictures. This helped involve the whole congregation, and we were able to tell them about where the money raised was going to go and what it could do for so many.

4. Get your volunteers on board early. I am still learning who the volunteers are at my new church; but soon I will be talking about the Famine and getting them excited. Leading up to the Famine and during the event, I will need lots of volunteers to pull it off; so giving them an early heads up will help.

5. Start talking about it to your students. Building it up as a big event will get them excited and hopefully raise lots of money.

Hopefully you will find these tips a good starting point for a successful 30 Hour Famine whether it is your first time or not. I am sure I will learn a great deal more this year, and am looking forward to this event with my students!