the Monday Morning Debrief: Summer Blockbusters

Each summer, there are movie flops and blockbusters.  For instance, a blockbuster movie this year would be “The Avengers” which grossed, at the time of this post, over $617 + million dollars in the US alone.  It ranks 3rd all-time in highest grossing movies.  On the other side of blockbuster are summer movie flops.  “Rock of Ages” and “That’s my Boy” really faired poorly in the box office this summer.  In fact, as of August 4th, “That’s my Boy” had made just $36,931,089 domestically.

So what does this have to do with ministry?

As summer draws to a close, it’s a good time to evaluate your summer program.  What were your blockbusters and what were your flops?  Hopefully you tried a few new events that you haven’t tried before.  So naturally some events would work and some would not.

For me, the Game Nights we did were big successes drawing a strong number of students and really strengthening relationships our students had.  I would even consider the Inside Out Workouts (an hour program with a short devotional, then the group would work out) that I did every Tuesday and Thursdays a success because it met my expectation.  Even though the turnouts were between 5-9 students most times (I did have one time in which no one showed up), it was what I was envisioning when I planned the event and the students who came were pretty consistent.  Both were great opportunities for me to grow in relationships I had with students as well.

The flop for me this summer was the Minor League baseball game outing that drew minimal interest and no sign ups.  I cancelled it the night before.  It was disappointing for sure, but now I know that trying to do a baseball game in the future is probably not such a good idea.

The reality is, each year you will have blockbusters and you will have flops.  But if you don’t take chances and try new events or ideas, you’ll never know what will exceed expectations.  Who knows the next youth ministry trend may start with you and that off-the-wall idea you did one summer.

Thoughts? Comments?  Suggestions?  TAKE A MINUTE and share a story about your summer blockbusters or flops.  These are opportunities where we can all learn from each other.

Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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