Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Christmas Cram

I don’t know how Christmas season is around your neck of the woods but around here it can get really busy.  There is a danger in student ministry to add more to an already busy calendar.  Families are rushing here to there.  If you have children you know the feeling of the unending rush.  You have to get your kids from school to practice or to the game.  Somehow between working a job and rushing around with your kids you are supposed to fix a healthy meal for your family and all sit down together and enjoy supper together.  I find it almost an impossibility unless you become the master of the crock pot.

Think about Christmas for a moment.  During this time we should be focusing on and celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Sometimes we don’t know how to say “no” to celebrating.  You have your company party, your small group party, your ministry team party, your family get togethers.  Then you throw shopping in the mix.

As Student Ministers how are we helping the families of our students if we are loading more onto an already super busy December?  We aren’t.  We are adding more stress, more time for families to be apart and not together.  

“But Andy, the students are home for two weeks with nothing to do!”  They have plenty to do.  It might take them a solid two weeks to clean and disinfect their bedroom.  Honestly this generation is busier than any other generation.  Those two weeks may be great for just resting and reconnecting with their family.

Sometimes we forget that we should have a purpose to what we are doing and we just schedule activities and events just to have activities and events on the calendar.

So do you schedule another night out to go caroling?  Do you schedule your youth group Christmas party on another night of the week because you can’t party on a church night, you must teach the Word.  Do you schedule students to wrap Christmas presents for church members to raise money for the mission trip?   How do you strike the balance?  There is a lot of fun and cool stuff you could do as a student ministry during the month of December but how will it impact families?

Maybe do some informal get togethers.  Shoot out a text, “Hey, I’ll be at the coffee shop in an hour if anyone wants to join me.”  Then students and parents don’t feel obligated to participate.  They can do so at their leisure.

So, it may be too late for this year because you already printed off that awesome Christmas calendar, but perhaps during the Christmas season you don’t plan extra.  Maybe hold your party on your usual youth group night.  We go bowling every December but we do it on our regular youth group night.  Take them caroling on your regular youth group night.

Use this time to spend extra time with your own family.  As ministers our families often get our "leftovers".  During Christmas we can use our new uncluttered Christmas calendar time to do some fun things together as a family and celebrate Jesus' birth.

Do you ever feel like you may be over scheduling events and activities? 

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