Release Your Famine!


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

iStock_000022199169XSmallNo matter what the size of your group (from 10 students to 100 students), the 30 Hour Famine can be a success if you let God re-create your Famine planning NOW.

You would be amazed at how many “well-intentioned” ministry events fail because you and I think good ideas equal good results. Take time today to RELEASE a GREAT 30 Hour Famine through re-planning–so the result have a greater impact on your students in the future.

RELEASE your calendar

National Approach: A great way to “hype” up the Famine (even with small ministries) is to host your event in conjunction with youth groups from around the nation on the weekends World Vision proposes. Nothing works better than encouraging your teens that “right now thousands of other students are fasting with us!” So, check your calendar.  Does February 21-22 or April 25-26 work for you?

Personal Approach: Maybe your best effort will come from personalizing the date of your Famine to your community. Look at your school and church calendars for that perfect weekend (even if it was previously your “special” retreat weekend) and make your Famine personal.  Your students (and their families) are social beasts–their personal calendars (and events at school and home) will always affect their attendance at your event.

RELEASE your facilities

Take a new look at your facilities.

Try this: walk through the mall (or spend time at Starbucks or what ever your youth worker safe place is) then walk into your church with first-timer eyes. Imagine yourself a visitor. What rooms stick out to you that you’ve never noticed before? Can a small room be used for a mid-Famine devotional? Can your nursery be used as a place to talk about malnourished children? Don’t have a building? Take an hour drive through your town and look at places where you can impact your teens through your Famine. Take a picture or write it down–the best new ideas will stick, the rest will fade away!

RELEASE your people

In the same way, take a fresh look at your congregation (or community, for those of you in parachurch groups). Without bias, look at the PEOPLE God has planted with you. That older couple may not be helpful at 2am, but God can use them to meet with you to help put together a mailing by meeting at noon two weeks before your event. That businessman or woman may not care about the Famine, but may help you design a “feast” to end it.

In all these ways, allow God to RELEASE new ideas into your Famine plans for this year, by taking the time NOW to see what great things He may be able to do!