I used to hear about youth weeks all the time – especially in the southern part of the United States. I think they are still out there, but don’t seem as prevalent. If I had to describe a youth week it would be a combination of revival, mission and community all wrapped around local ministry events and worship at one particular church or community. If you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive way to engage the students in your church and community during the summer, this may be a start.
Here’s a sample schedule of a Sunday – Wednesday Youth Week:
Sunday Evening: Meal / Worship / Concert – the whole church is invited (families, kids, students, leaders, etc).
Monday: 10 am – 2 pm – students meet at church for local missions and lunch together (ideas are numerous – painting, music in a nursing home, clean up the park, etc). That evening, meet at church for supper, worship and a message.
Tuesday: 1:00 pm – pool party (or some other activity then that night meet at church for supper, worship and a message.
Wednesday: Be creative during the day – games at church, day two of a different kind of mission, then that night the final worship services / message and meal at church.
Some youth weeks develop lots of tradition – where to go, what to do, t-shirts for everyone, etc. The meals don’t have to be fancy – this is geared toward students. But it’s a great way to involve others from your church. Have the men’s group grill out one night, or have a Sunday School Class provide the dinner. Or use some money raised for this week to have theme nights – taco night, wings night, etc.
If you are doing this within your church alone – you can have different levels of participation. The evening meal and worship may be 6th grade on up. But the 9:00 game time is for high school only or college only – or whatever you determine for that late night event.
Harvest has been a part of several youth weeks over the years (one notable one being in Carrollton, AL) and they are really an awesome way to spend a few days during the summer. When Harvest has served, we have either done the music or have done the music and speaking. During the day, it’s a blast getting to know the students during the mission projects and fun times. Some great memories develop during Youth Weeks.
Does your church do something similar? Did you participate is something like this as a student?
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About Tim Price
Tim Price, Director of Harvest Ministry Teams, is based in Troy, IL and serves in a wide range of team ministry. www.twitter.com/effectiveteams