Should Kids' Ministry Take the Summer Off?

It's a perfect time to change things up -

by Brian Dollar/ May 20, 2014

I hear it all the time from Kidmin leaders: “We’re taking the summer off!” “We are canceling kids’ ministry services during the summer and just having kids sit in the adult service every week.” While I completely understand the rationale that goes into these decisions—it's hard to get volunteers during summer, it's difficult with so many families on vacation, etc.—here are a few reasons why we DON’T take a summer break in our kids’ ministry:

1. Momentum—It’s a precious thing in kids’ ministry.We see it in all around us—an almost inexplicable energy that propels a team to victory, an organization to higher levels of performance, and individuals to accomplish more than anyone thought possible. It’s so much easier to maintain momentum than it is to get it started. Why kill programming when things are riding high at the end of the school year? It can be a huge challenge to try to rally the troops and get everything back into gear when school starts back up.

2. Guests—If your church is reaching new families in your community, they are likely to go weeks without seeing your kids’ ministry in action. You often only get one shot to show them what you have to offer their family at your church. Why handicap yourself during the summer by shutting down?

3. Message—Personally, I feel it sends the wrong message to the entire church (especially the kids) when you cancel kids’ ministry for the summer. It basically says, “We feel kids’ ministry is optional.” If you can cancel for the summer (nearly three months), it is difficult to convince would-be volunteers that you have a viable ministry that is important enough for them to sacrifice their time and energy for during the school year.

Rather than cancel, my advice is . . . change it up! Summer is a great opportunity for you to try something different. Here are just a few of the different approaches we use during the summer:

  • Family Month—The entire month of July, we host a Family Service every Sunday night. We bring in special ministry guests that appeal to both kids and adults. We gear the entire service for the whole family with lots of interaction and giveaways!
  • C.I.A. (Christians In Action)—We use summers to focus on discipleship and leadership training for our forth and fifth grade kids.
  • Wacky Water Wednesdays—In the past, we have turned Wednesday nights into a Wild Water Experience! Water games galore!

Summer schedules naturally give you the freedom to experiment a little. I’ve seen some churches add really fun activities during the midweek service time. Perhaps you have gotten burned out with Vacation Bible School. Why not switch things up and do something like a MEGA Sports Camp or a MEGA Ministry Camp? Use your imagination! Recruit new leaders! Have a blast!