Making the Most of Your Students' Time

In some parts of the country we are finally beginning to see the first light of spring. Winter hasn’t been easy for many folks as record-breaking snow falls have blanketed the country. In the last few days I’ve had friends posting pictures on Facebook of their bare feet walking in the sand and of daffodils that have finally popped up above the ground. It’s nice to know warmer days are on their way.

With the coming of warmer days spring break is already on the minds of many—teachers and students alike. It’s the first real break since Christmas. And sometimes by the time it arrives we are limping along in desperate need of some down time.

For some folks, spring break is a time for family vacations to tropical places or maybe the last effort to enjoy the winter weather by going snow skiing. However, for most, it’s a few days to sleep late, read a book, hang out with friends, etc.

As leaders in student ministry and missions, how can you help your students make the most of the time they have on spring break?

This is a great time to get students involved in missions experiences as they have lots of free time to fill. (A person can sleep-in only so many days and watch only so many reruns of Saved by the Bell and Full House.)

If you haven’t already done so, get busy planning for some hands-on ministry opportunities during spring break. These can be projects that last a few hours or even a full day or more. Consider various types of projects throughout the week, or maybe just a couple of days of projects.

Here are some helpful hints for guiding your students to make the most of their spring break by using the time to invest in the lives of others.

  • Gather your students together for a brainstorming session. Ask them what kinds of projects they would like to participate in. Spend time in prayer asking God to guide you and your students in your planning.
  • Give the students some responsibility and leadership in planning and preparing for some hands-on experiences.
  • Do a little research and be prepared to share some ideas and options for projects, as well as specific information about ministry sites in your community or within a fairly short drive.
  • Enlist a few trusted and willing adults to help with any transportation needs.
  • Contact ministry leaders to determine their needs and what day(s) and times you and your group might be able to serve them.
  • Encourage students to think outside the box and get out of their comfort zone.
  • Be sure to cover all of the necessary logistics like permission forms, meals, etc.
  • Go and have great missions experiences with your students as you watch them demonstrate the love of Christ to others.

Spring break is a great time to take a break from the everyday routine of school, homework, and extracurricular activities. But don’t let your students just sit home and waste these days. Help them gain valuable missions experience, and make memories that will last a lifetime. You may never know what a little investment of your time might mean in the lives of the students you serve.

Go now to be the hands and feet of Christ. Let us know how it goes. We love to hear your stories. Happy Spring Break!

Suzanne Reece is the Student Ministry Consultant at national WMU®.

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