I’ve had the same order at Chipotle since 2015. Once I locked into the perfect combination of their fresh and local ingredients, I never looked back. Until the fateful day my Chipotle ran out of their hot salsa. I debated going salsa-less, but considered that ordering a dry burrito bowl might actually be a sin, so I put on a brave face and opted for the salsa verde instead. My mind was blown at how delicious it was and how it fit perfectly into my previously-perfect formula for my burrito bowl. In that moment, I learned that sometimes, changing it up can make a good thing even better.
Now that you’re hungry, let’s talk about what this means for your student ministry. It is great to get into a rhythm with your weekly services, but there’s also so much value in trying something different from time to time. Not only does it keep your ministry fresh, but it’ll also create unique experiences that students will remember and grow through together. Here are three easy, value-add events that will help you grow in effectiveness and relationships with your students and adult leaders.
(By the way, Soul Exercises Curriculum gives you all the tools you need to build an awesome calendar for your student ministry. You can download a sample of the curriculum here).
Service Projects are a win-win for your student ministry: students serve those in their community while growing with their friends and adult leaders. It’s a no-brainer to add to your calendar this year. You can schedule them apart from your weekly ministry, or work them into your regular schedule so more students are able to be involved. There are many options that don’t even require you to leave the building! You can partner with organizations your church already supports, or check out this list for more great ideas.
Supercharged Spiritual Growth
A day or weekend away from “normal life” can help students refocus and reprioritize the right things in their lives. It can also be a great bonding experience for your group. If organizing a retreat or getaway isn’t doable with your current resources, consider holding a prayer and worship night a few times a year or even once a semester. Dedicated time to practice spiritual disciplines can help students start the habit and stick with it. Get students involved with the planning and execution to help with ownership and participation.
Just For Fun
Don’t discount the importance of just having fun with your group. Deepening your relationships outside of spiritual contexts will immensely benefit your time within those spiritual contexts. There are so many low-budget, minimal-planning things you can do with your group that will create awesome memories. Get together with your adult leaders (and maybe a few students) and brainstorm a few “just for fun” days for your year. Use this list to help you get started!
We hope you’ll work a few of these ideas into your student ministry calendar this year!
(P.S. If you were wondering – I get a burrito bowl with brown rice, black beans, double veggies, salsa verde, corn, lettuce, and guac, with their honey vinaigrette on the side. If you haven’t had the vinaigrette…trust me.)