Students love the summer months. It is a time to relax without the pressure of homework and assignments. And for those of us in student ministry, it is a great time to build relationships and intentionally invest in those that God has put under your care.
One of the most important things that you can do as you work with students is to communicate well with them and their families. This is especially true during the summer months, when students scatter and are not as consistent in their weekly attendance due to camps and family vacations. You can’t announce something once and expect everyone to get it. In fact, you may have to announce something multiple times to get the information across to your families. So, what are some good tools to utilize as you seek to share about events, studies and activities?
• Email — In today’s culture, email may feel old school. However, it is still highly used in the workplace. Email doesn’t get lost in social media algorithms. It goes directly to the person to whom you are sending it. Make sure that you have a good working email for your students and parents. You can utilize services like Mailchimp.com that have free and paid options. Weekly emails, especially during the summer months, can make a big difference in keeping your families informed.
• Social Media — This is a little tricky. Your students may be on one platform while parents may be on another. A multi-channel distribution platform like Buffer.com can assist you in providing posts to Facebook pages, Facebook groups, Instagram and Twitter all at once. You can also use websites like Canva.com to create great-looking posts.
• Snail Mail — While we discount the idea of mailing something to our students and their families, it can aid in the communication blitz that is necessary to get the attention of some. I wouldn’t necessarily mail something out for every event, but a monthly or summer-long schedule can be a great mailout and not that costly.
• Texting or Messaging Apps — A parent text group can be a great thing to share a blast of information. Don’t overuse the group because it can be annoying for members, but it can reach a lot of people with one shot. Another group can be set up for your students to provide a separate place for them to communicate.
When you are trying to get your information across, you don’t want to communicate just one way. Use them all. It is rare that you would ever over-communicate. Keeping your group informed will help your group stay together during the craziness of summer.
Special Recognition for Fathers
I want to thank the WMA of Prospect Missionary Baptist Church of Jonesboro. They recently made a donation of $120 to the work of the BMA of Arkansas Youth Department in honor of the fathers of their church. This is a special blessing for our ministry as we start preparing in earnest for our annual Student Ministry Workers Retreat on September 17. I am so thankful for this WMA group and all of our fathers as they invest in the spiritual development of their children.