Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ministry in a Post-tradition School.

So I've begun ministry with several elementary and middle schoolers starting year round schools. Sure, I have some traditional schools, Christian schoolers and so forth. The whole Year round also affected my family.

So here are some things I have to consider in this post-traditional school world. (It affects my High schoolers too due to their siblings being in year round as well).

1. Retreats and outings will be harder to pull off.
2. A week of Vacation Bible School VBS might be a thing of the past. Most parents will be vacationing or trying to do camps etc in June before school starts in July.
VBS curriculum might be more incorporated into the regular programming such as Children's Church.
3. Camp ministry will definitely look different and be rare.
4. Thinking outside the box on service opportunities etc.
5. Be supportive of parents. There will be breaks overlapping but know time is valuable.
6. Alot of programming will run year round but break in June instead of whole summers. Several of the children's and student ministries will probably be mainly focused on Sundays.
7. Fall kick-offs, promotion Sundays, will be either non-existing or done differently as the season changes.
8. Be aware of the cultural change of this to not only your ministry but families, schools and how people react.
9. Fall break, Spring break, easter break, summer break will no longer be in your vocabulary list. It will be so when does your track have break? What Track # are you?
10. There is a cost. Some in savings, some in looking for items. Back to school sales will be too late in the Fall. When most stores are marketing that - you had been in school for months.
11. Things like SYATP seem almost trendy and as jumping the shark and old school and missing the point. When it first started (See you at the Pole) it was seen as a prayer movement to pray for the schools and students, teachers and so forth at the start of the school year.. It seems now almost to be a past WWJD trend.
12. There will not be alot of youth workers that can identify with you and the issues you have with this new type of ministry in a "year round" system. Empathy will be rare.
13. One has to be creative to visit the schools. Even if you have students from several schools or year round or not. The issue isn't just visiting campus .. but when? 10:30 lunches, 11am lunch, when, where etc. Use the times when special events happen to visit the campus. Our local one is Cary Band day where thousands of people come to Cary High school to hear a variety of different High school marching bands.
14. The post-tradion school debate won't go away. With continual growth and more people come to the area ... opportunities arise to either make the best of it or to sit and moan. I'm past the grumbling now. I'm onto trying to ministry in this unique environment. I don't even think that the Wake County school board has even thought out how this affects different churches, camps and so forth ... (Though I wonder if they have a contract or agreement with the YMCA chapter here because there seems to be alot of presence on the school campuses of the YMCA and when the kids are on their tracking out and the YMCA filling this area while both parents work)

Interesting Report on Yr Round

Year round info

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