Summer’s sweet, lazy days are just around the corner. And though it’s a great time to rest and recoup after a busy year, summer is also an ideal time to focus on evangelism. Summer outreach ideas are effective and loads of fun.
As a youth leader, it’s all too easy to inadvertently fall into a pattern of slacking off and slowing down your Gospel Advancing Ministry efforts during the summer months. Maybe you’ve experienced this in the past. Even if you have a camp or mission trip planned, once the push for the big event is past, it’s tempting to let the rest of the summer slide into a cycle of weekly fun and games. Resist the temptation by choosing a few exciting summer outreach ideas!
Lazy Dogs vs. Bright and Shining Stars
Well, surprise, surprise! The “dog days of summer” aren’t what they seem. It’s a common misconception that the saying is based on lazy dogs lying around doing nothing. But the real origin is actually a reference to the brightest star in the summer night sky—the Dog Star (aka Sirius).
So here’s a radical thought: Turn the dog days on their head with some summer outreach ideas. Move teenagers off the couch and out of the “fun-and-games-only” mode.
Consciously plan a summer that helps kids shine like the brightest star in the summer sky. Help your teenagers live out the challenge in Philippians 2:15 to “shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life”!
Of course, you don’t have to throw out all the fun and games. Just be sure to gospelize them!
8 Great Summer Outreach Ideas
This list of simple Gospel Advancing Ministry ideas will help you keep evangelism front and center. Pick a few and turn the “dog days of summer” into the “doggedly determined days of summer.” That’s as in doggedly determined to prioritize evangelism!
Encourage students to consistently reach out to people who are lost, hurting or just plain bored.
- Organize a student outing to a local park(s). Challenge each Christian teenager to initiate at least one faith-sharing conversation with a stranger. For help with this, have students download the Life in 6 Words app.
- Designate an Ice Cream Outreach Month. Challenge every group member to treat one unreached friend to ice cream one-on-one. The express purpose is to use the time to initiate a faith-sharing conversation. Then close out the month with an ice cream social. Have students invite their friends and present the gospel.
- Plan a trip to an amusement park or swimming pool. Challenge every student to initiate at least one faith-sharing conversation with a stranger.
- Plan a community service project. This can be anything from a canned food drive to a free car wash—no strings attached. Share the gospel with everyone you interact with (out loud, with words).
- Plan an outreach movie night. For help with this, click here.
- Recruit teenagers to volunteer at your church’s VBS. Challenge them to specifically connect with any kids who aren’t from your church so they can share the gospel with them.
- Model an evangelistic lifestyle by using the summer to pray for and connect with neighbors who don’t know Jesus. Invite them over for a BBQ or dessert night. Challenge adult leaders to do the same. Then during youth group, share stories about your own faith-sharing efforts.
- Lay the groundwork with next year’s student leadership team. Disciple them weekly during the summer and cast a vision for their role. That way, you can hit the ground running in the fall for an active, gospel-focused program.
Capitalize on students’ extra time and freedom in the summer. Advance the gospel and make these the dog days—in the original sense!
Choose one activity from this list of 8 Great Summer Outreach Ideas. Then put it on your youth group calendar ASAP.
This article about summer outreach ideas originally appeared here.