I love what we at FYI get to learn from the amazing churches in our Sticky Faith Cohorts. This year, Toran Scott from Calvary Church in Grand Rapids shared a great way that the students in his youth ministry have found a way to connect with their senior pastor.
Every summer, the senior pastor joins the youth ministry on a three-day trip, using the time as a chance to get to know the students. They call the trip “Vacation with Jim,” and the senior pastor pores over students’ pictures and profiles ahead of time, trying to memorize their names. Each night, the senior pastor spends time answering questions that students have submitted in writing. All day, the senior pastor builds relationships and just plain has fun with the students.
What a great idea!
Maybe the dynamics of your church make it such that you can’t imagine doing a “Vacation with Jim” in your setting. But what about “Beach Day with Jenny” or “Bar-B-Que with Juaneta” or “Hiking with Juan”? Helping students connect with senior leadership in your church isn’t just part of what builds Sticky Faith in kids; it’s also good for your church. Senior leaders need your students to help them stay fresh and relevant.