When To Take It Off

With today being Mother’s Day, I’m hoping that you don’t have ministry planned and that last week you told your teens to be good to their mothers.  Why don’t we have ministry on Mother’s Day?  It’s a great time for family and it’s not about programming it’s about family.  Plus any time that’s mentioned the death stares I get are truly haunting.
But like Mother’s Day I can think of several other weekends (outside of Christmas and Easter) we take a break from ministry because of what’s happening around us.  Those days are:

  • Super Bowl Sunday: With middle school ministry being Sunday nights, we don’t even think about competing.  We used to do the whole party/evangelization thing, but we realized that “big parties” weren’t attracting our teens, they wanted to be with family or a small group of friends.  
  • Sunday After Thanksgiving: Let’s face it a lot of us have family staying with us or you are traveling to see family, either way you are exhausted.  We look at this is a one week breath before we head into busy, busy, Christmas.
  • Father’s Day: We take this off partly due to some of the same reasons as Mother’s Day but also because this is a huge transition weekend into the summer.  Our schedule is traditionally lighter in the summer; however, taking the weekend away from any type of student program says, “We’re changing gears.”
  • Sunday of Labor Day Weekend: This is again is a transition weekend, but it’s also a chance to give our ministers who are parents time to get their kids settled into school.  Students are also preoccupied with starting sports and doing well in school, by giving a week it gives everyone a little margin.

Days like the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend and so on are negotiable.  It all depends on the season and year.  Around certain weekends we know our attendance will be low (i.e. Spring Break) but we still have program because we feed into different schools.  It’s not a science, but it’s something you need to feel out, evaluate and talk about with ministers, parents and teens.

How do you approach holidays like Mother’s Day?

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  • Becky Durham says:

    Agree with all of the above. Even if I think I’m going to meet on those Sundays, I’m usually overruled by the parents–or when kids simply don’t show up. We also are pretty flexible with the summer schedule.

    No youth group today–Mother’s Day. Enjoy the day!

  • CJ says:

    I once had a wonderful Christian Mom tell me that the greatest gift I could give her was to have youth on Mother’s Day evening and give her 2 hours of “me time.” There’s a flip side to every thought! 🙂

  • CJ, I’ve had that happen to me too, and as much as I would love to do that, I know my wife (now a mother) likes me home earlier on Sundays ha…so many layers to it.

    Becky, I feel the same way, I love what I do, but know that parents like having a break in the schedule. I think when it comes down to it, we need to be flexible, especially in the summer like you mentioned.