Three Ways to Build Momentum with Students in the Summer Slump

If you’ve served in student ministry for more than a year, you know summer is a hard time for maintaining momentum.

Between students going on vacation, summer camps, and getting ready for fall sports, it’s challenging to keep them engaged.

Instead of losing momentum going into the summer, our dream at Fuse was to gain momentum. We’ve seen that happen by focusing in three ways:

1. Relationships. 

When students are out of school, time for community opens up in a massive way. So we focus on connecting students to a leader and each other in a Fuse Group.

Summer is a time when students make incredible decisions to follow Christ or heart- breaking decisions to run away from Him. Groups can be the difference maker. 

Last year, we created the hashtag #FuseGroupSummer and encouraged Fuse Groups to post on social media when they met. Anything that shows students having fun following Jesus in Godly community is a win.

2. Consistency.

Fuse happens every week during the summer. We don’t slow down programming or stop teaching the Bible. 

The Gospel that can save a student during the school year is the same Gospel that can save a student during the summer. We boldly proclaim that Gospel all year long.

Many things in a student’s world are inconsistent; church shouldn’t be one of them. 

3. Perspective.

Momentum isn’t necessarily about attendance. Numbers consistently drop in the summer, so if you judge ministry success or failure that way, summer will be a surefire loss. 

Momentum is created when Jesus changes a heart to be more like His, not when you draw a crowd. 

Just as Jesus says, “ … there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10), so we celebrate any time a student takes one step closer to Jesus. 

One thing that doesn’t work during the summer is a gimmick.

There’s nothing wrong with finding ways to entice students to attend your ministry. Fuse has done everything from give away a new music EP to put on three-on-three basketball tournaments.

But it’s dangerous when those things become your focus. 

If your students come every week because you are giving something away, students will focus on what they’re going to get, not on Jesus or what He wants to do in them.

The truth is summer can be an incredible time to get spiritual traction. 

If your student ministry passionately connects students in community and boldly proclaims the Gospel, God will create the spiritual momentum that comes only by the movement of the Holy Spirit.

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