5 Tips for Surviving Summer


By Chris Luper

surviving-summerLeaning into the pinnacle of summer, how is it with your soul? It’s a question I seem to find myself asking on a daily basis during this time of year: “How is it with my soul?” If your youth ministry is anything like the one I serve, the busyness of summer makes the “holiday season” – Thanksgiving and Christmas – look like a vacation.

Over the course of this summer, I’ll find myself attending at least one conference, a high school mission trip, a middle school mission trip, and a week long beach retreat for 6th – 12th graders. Of course, this is not even taking into account the week-to-week interaction I will have with students. Add my personal life on top of this (family vacations, yard work, etc.), being a full-time daddy of a 2-year-old and a 6-month-old, as well as devoting time to my beautiful and amazing wife. Talk about the potential for burnout!

If you read no further into this post, hear these words: Thank you for everything that you’re doing to build up the Kingdom of God. I know from experience that you are pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into the lives of your students and so I say “Thank you!”

I’m very fortunate in my ministry setting to get to interact with lots of other student ministers. Having come to that point in my career where I’m no longer the youngest one in the room, I’m always happy to share some of the wisdom that I’ve accrued. So here’s my advice for your summer: Healthy ministry only occurs when you are healthy; but how do you accomplish this? Hear are my top five ways to survive a youth ministry summer:

1. No matter how busy you are, take time for a Personal Sabbath. Take time weekly to rest and recharge and if you can, squeeze in some kind of vacation.

2. No matter how busy you are, take time for a Spiritual Sabbath. As you pour your love for Christ into others all summer long, you have to take time to fill your own cup. Take the time to pray and worship for yourself.

3. Commit to an accountability group. We all need people in our lives that can A) relate to the season of life we are in and B) provide relevant advice based off of their own experiences.

4. Remember that summer means HUGE movie blockbusters. Treat yourself to at least one movie this summer.

5. Don’t forget why you do what you do. Spend some time just hanging out with your students this summer. You’ll be amazed at the amount of discipleship that will occur through relational ministry.

Have a great summer and remember, you are a valued and important child of God!