Partnering With Other Churches for 30 Hour Famine


By Kim Collins

Mmmm…can you smell it?  It’s the smell of fresh paper as you open your box of materials and begin planning your next 30 Hour Famine Event.  New brochures, flyers, posters, and fundraising packets all shiny and new…Oh my!!  Not to mention the videos and Event Guide.  It’s an exciting time in a Youth Minister’s life…and a little scary.  It’s exciting as you introduce or re-introduce your students to the needs of many who face hunger and poverty, and, the realization that together, we can make a difference in combating hunger and poverty.

It can be scary when you think about planning and all the details.  Generally, at this point in the planning, I’m reminded that I need a little help from my friends, and hopefully we have done a little pre-planning, or at least had some conversations about it.  Yes, I am capable of planning it myself; however, it’s much more fun the more people you have on-board, AND it provides an opportunity for others to use gifts they have that I do not.

One of the greatest gifts I was given in my many, many years in youth ministry was the gift of other youth ministers.  Through joining various Youth Ministry networks (one was a year long Youth Minister’s Cohort, one was a local, face-to-face and ecumenical group, and a few online networks), we were able to be in ministry with one another, our students, and our churches.  It was not about comparing our groups, but collaborating with one another for growing God’s Kingdom.  Were we all the same size, or had the same amount of experience?  No!  It wasn’t about the number of students and volunteers, it wasn’t about the latest and greatest program, who had the most education, attended the most conferences, or knew this person or that person.  And this is what made it great!  It was about a group of people who love God and sharing God’s love to students.  It was a group of people celebrating our joys, standing together through our sorrows, and It was about ministering TOGETHER.  Through planning events together like 30-Hour Famine and sharing ideas we discovered one another’s gifts, and discovered some of our own that we did not know we had.

Over the years, after some of these special events, I often heard comments like “that was such a neat idea” or “how did you come up with that idea?”  Some were my own: however, a lot were from friends who shared ideas and experiences that allowed opportunities to make it fit different group needs.  It was also great when we gathered with other churches for an evening of food, fellowship and a friendly game of dodge ball or kick ball!

My biggest tip to any youth minister is to find other youth workers to walk the journey with you.  Don’t compare yourself to what others are doing…just be who God called you to be to the youth and families you serve!