It is September and we've survived a wild summer of youth events at our church--in fact we passed with flying colors. It was one of the best summers I've had in youth ministry. Here is what we did not pass, though. We did not survive the summer of band camps, family vacations, soccer camps, etc. What I mean by this is we had a solid core of students at the end of the school year and the beginning of summer. But as students began their summer of other events, many of them really got out of the habit of coming to our youth group meetings. Now, these events are all great and none of them are bad in and of themselves. But I find that not only was I competing with them during the summer, but long after summer is over these events have taken their toll on my kids in that they are out of the habit of coming to church and no longer feel that vital connection with kids in the youth group (connections I feel should be the very best friendships they have).
I have called, emailed, texted, and myspaced all these kids, and visited with their parents (if their parents regularly attend church). I've had kids in the group contact them. And we still haven't gotten those students back on a regular basis. So, I have two questions for you, my colleagues. 1) How do you keep that momentum going during the end of summer and into the beginning of the school year? 2) What do you do aside from the above contact methods, to reach out or get in touch with kids who have not been coming in a while?
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