Having a Rhythm to the Year
One of the best practices when making your ministry calendar is to ensure that there is a rhythm to it. By this I mean balance and logic. i.e. Don't have all your crazy events in the summer and then none the rest of the school year.
It's important to keep your students' schedules in mind as well as the season of the year. We try and do one big event each season. In the Fall we do a huge bonfire, in the winter do our Lock-in, in the Spring we do our retreat, and in the Summer we do our mission trip. The fall is our students busiest season of the year, so our big event that season is the smallest of the four big events we do, which is perfect.
We also sprinkle in other events as the calendar allows. During school breaks (fall, Christmas, spring, etc) we have events for the students. During Christmas break we go ice skating in downtown KC and have a Christmas Party. During Spring Break we have a party. We also do periodic movie nights after our youth group (which meets on Sunday nights) when the student's have Monday off of school.
We don't try and load up the calendar, but we do try and plan our calendar to be the opposite of the school calendar, that way we aren't in conflict with it. We don't want our students to have to choose between youth group and school. We're even shortening our Sunday night gatherings from 2 hours to 1.5 hours this year so the students have more time to get their homework done.
Our time with our students is incredibly important and without a rhythm and a purpose to our calendar that time wouldn't be as effective.
How do you balance the events of your ministry with those of your students' school?
[This is part 3 in a series on 'How to Make a Yearly Ministry Calendar']