Friday, May 11, 2012

Summer Outreach! Mid-Week Ministry!

I've been talking about the opportunities you currently provide . . . such as Sunday school and VBS . . . and how they relate to your Summer ministry. Today we will consider another thing you are probably already doing and some questions to help you "re-focus" it to be a truly effective Summer outreach . . . mid-week ministry.

Most churches have a mid-week ministry, but many of them experience limited "success" with this outreach. Let's take a moment to consider this and then look at mid-week ministry as well as what it could look like in the Summer. Again, the first thing you need to do in regards to your mid-week ministry is determine what your goals and vision are for this ministry - think about these questions . . . 

  • Why do you have a mid-week ministry? 
  • Who are you primarily gearing your mid-week ministry for? 
  • Are you primarily focusing on reaching out to your community or do you want to use your mid-week ministry to equip Christian children? 
  • When your mid-week ministry ends each school year, what do you want to have accomplished? 
  • How do you measure success in your mid-week ministry? 
  • Can the people in your church tell "why" you have mid-week ministry?  
  • Do the people in your church support your mid-week ministry and are they willing to be involved in it? 
These are important questions to consider when evaluating your mid-week ministry. It is also important to know how your answers "look" in regards to Summer mid-week ministry. Many churches do not offer their mid-week ministry in the summer . . . if this is true for your church, what will you offer in place of it? Nothing? I hope this isn't your answer. Just consider the following -

  • most children are not in school in the summer, so your mid-week ministry has great potential to become something church and community children look forward to each week!
  • mid-week ministry is the perfect "place" to offer a VBS-type program! This would bring great enthusiasm and could potentially be a huge "draw" to community children! You could modify and "tweek" the curriculum to fit an hour and a half - so one "day's lesson" would work for two mid-week lessons.
  • if community children were attending your mid-week VBS all summer, you could use it as an opportunity to offer parenting classes or just open a "cafe" and strategically involve adults in your church as people who just engage and talk with parents over a cup of coffee or a glass of iced tea or lemonade while their children are  engaged in the program.
  • this could also be the ideal setting to offer an inter-generational opportunity where families learn together, play together, serve together and just enjoy the opportunity to come together!
Think about how mid-week ministry could help make your church a "hub" of community life for the people in your church and community on Summers!

After you answer these questions and know your goals/vision, it is time to look at the materials you are utilizing for your mid-week ministry. During the month of June I'll provide a review of mid-week curriculum complete with a side-by-side comparison chart and will be writing much more about curriculum as it relates to Mid-Week, but for the Summer, I'd recommend finding a resource which centers on a theme and then carry this through for the entire Summer. Again, VBS could be a great resource for this.

Mid-week ministry is a wonderful opportunity to reach out to your community and touch families who are not interested in attending church on Sundays - this applies, possibly even more, during the Summer. If your mid-week ministry is presented with enthusiasm and excellence it will attract attention - both of children and of their parents.

In addition, mid-week ministry is an excellent opportunity to help "put feet to their faith" and equip Christian children so they remember and understand God's Word and know how to take it out of the doors of the church and live it in their everyday lives. Be sure to provide opportunities for children to serve others - both in their community and around the world. Mid-week ministry is a wonderful time to work on service projects - make it a station on the evening's rotation so each and every week the children are involved in doing something to serve others!

As you consider outreach, take a good look at what you are already doing with your mid-week ministry. Where it needs to make changes, make those changes. Where it is doing things with excellence, continue to strengthen those areas and know as you do, you will be able to reach out to your community and make a difference in the lives of both un-churched and Christian children! Watch in June for my mid-week resources reviews!

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