Over the summer I normally try to post a couple things that I learned over the previous school year. If you want see the series as it has developed over lots of years then click here.
In our camp training we always say that camp is a two week commitment. You spend a week at camp, then you spend at least a week of focused follow-up before getting back to your normal pace of ongoing friendship and leadership. I’ve even seen some of our clubs meet for 30 days in a row after camp. Those clubs have been some of our strongest and biggest year after year… I’m certain there is a connection.
In our area we have all-area summer campaigners after camp for at least four weeks. We also encourage kids to go to church with their leaders.
By the way, I have pastors and youth pastors ask me all the time how either 1) we get kids into church, or how 2) they can get kids into church. I have a very simple answer that I fully believe is the best method. I tell them that YL students will go to church where their YL leader goes to church. The more their YL leader is growing, being fed, pointed to Christ, and encouraged by the pastors (hopefully the pastors know the YL leaders names), the more YL leaders will be attracted to their church and their club kids will eventually come too. Churches where pastors know the YL leaders in their church by name tend to already have a lot of things in place that will be easy to plug YL students into church.
Back to hotdogs and church… At our first all area summer campaigners I told everyone that if they don’t have a church they go to regularly that we would all be going to a specific church on Sunday at 10AM and that I would buy everyone lunch afterward. I had already talked to the pastor to make sure he was open to the idea and that the sermon wasn’t a member focused topic (tithing, membership, etc.).