Hey Summer… Where did you go?


By Emily Capes

iStock_000035600272SmallIt’s almost the end of a Thursday afternoon and I have called or sent out way more texts and emails then I care to count—to youth, parents and adults in my church—over the past five days. There have been multiple teenagers and adults in my office this week for different reasons. Our schools started at the end of last week, August 1st. Whew. And our youth ministry fall schedule kicks off on August 13th with a ridiculous amount of messy games! How is it Fall already?

I am tired.

It’s been a great summer. Lots of relationships have been strengthened and new ones built. We served locally and on a week-long mission trip in another state. We have played, prayed, learned and laughed a lot. After serving in some capacity of youth ministry for the past 20 years, I finally played laser tag, and LOVED it!

Now it’s a new school year. We need Sunday school teachers, Sunday and Wednesday small group leaders and chaperones, and most importantly, parents who will provide food for us every week. Who doesn’t love food! Our youth leadership team has decided to send 11th and 12th graders on an international mission trip this next spring break—so we have a lot of fundraising and preparation for that opportunity. Our second 30 Hour Famine is in February; so it’s time to start praying and building the leadership team for that soon. Shoot, I’m already planning for next summer!

I am tired.

It’s time for a break. For me.

It’s interesting that summertime for many youth ministries is busier then the rest of the year. Are you leading one of those youth ministries? Or have you been intentional to carve out some time to rest during your summer?

I have to ask. How are you?

How is your soul? How is your heart? How is your mind?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul

and with all your mind and with all your strength.

Mark 12:30

When do you take a break? How do you take a break?

We will always have new activities to plan, new lessons to write, phone calls to return: but they can wait. We are part of a bigger story with a Savior who invites us to stop and remember where we fit in that story.

Be still and know that I am God.

Psalm 46:10

My prayer for all of us youth workers, volunteers and paid, is that we remember that we need to slow down. Stop and be still. We can only give out of what we receive. This will look different for each of us. What does it look like for you? Is there a pause on your calendar this late summer or early fall?