The Start Of Summer Vacation & Missed-Ministry

Today was the last day of school for students in the Somerset Area School District. An exciting for sure as the students drove home for the last time this school year. Tonight is an equally special night, as the class of 2010 walks the isle to bigger and hopefully brighter futures.

For me, today was a day of poor timing and bad planning. For the first time as a youth pastor, I missed the year end hype. Because of snow days, our school district added a full week to the school calendar. This combined with a my trip to California and the taking of study time, has led to what I am now thinking is “missed-ministry.”

Last night was Somerset’s Baccalaureate. I was completely oblivious to this fact, and missed my first one in years. Again, “missed-ministry.”

I realized this “missed-ministry” this morning while I was mowing grass, whacking weeds, and hosing down the front of our youth building, 121 Center Place. Being out of the office for the last two weeks, the place was a mess and needed attention. Our building is located in the heart of town, on a corner of a one way street, about 6 blocks from the jr/sr high school. As groups of students made their way to the local eateries, passing right in front of 121 on foot and in cars, I couldn’t help but think, I’m missing an awesome opportunity to spend time with students.

I know what’s done is done, but as I look back at the last two weeks, two weeks that were planned into the calendar for rest and study before the summer season started, I think I’ll do it differently next year.

The end of the year is an exciting time for students, and one that if strategically planned could be taken advantage of by smart youth workers. This year, I was too focused on ending Crossroads well, spending time writing my book, and getting some one on one time with my wife. And not that any of those things are bad, I think the timing was.

What regrets do you have at the end of this school year? Wish you would have thought a few things through a little better? What did you learn from this year that you’ll do differently next year? Or, how do you end the school year with your students? Any special activities, trips, or services?

Please share your comments and lessons learned, and we’ll all grow a little wiser.

– jay

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