What Our Typical Youth Ministry Calendar Looks Like

This is our third year of doing Youth Ministry. Over that time we’ve learnt a few things about planning! Aside from having a great team supporting us we’ve discovered a few aspects of planning our Youth Ministry calendar that help make it work for us and not drive us (too) crazy.

We schedule our Youth nights during the school term and take a break during the holidays. Apart from the 2 month summer break, there’s 3 other 2 week breaks during the year. This breaks up our calendar into 4 terms with 9 or 10 weeks each. Here’s what our last 4 terms have looked like:

Term 3, 2016 (July-Sep)

  • Week 1: Games night – Food edition
  • Week 2: Youth Church
  • Week 3: Game Show Night
  • Week 4: Quiz Night
  • Week 5: Youth Church
  • Week 6: Capture the Flag
  • Week 7: Dodgeball night
  • Week 8: Movie night
  • Week 9: Youth Camp

Term 4, 2016 (Oct-Dec)

  • Week 1: Youth Church
  • Week 2: Games night – Bible edition
  • Week 3: Youth Church
  • Week 4: Special Guest Speaker
  • Week 5: Movie Night
  • Week 6: Youth Church
  • Week 7: Games Night – Salt & Light edition
  • Week 8: Youth Church
  • Week 9: Youth Awards Dinner

Term 1, 2017 (Feb-Apr)

  • Week 1: The Amazing Race (big 2017 launch)
  • Week 2: Connect Groups
  • Week 3: Youth Church
  • Week 4: Connect Groups
  • Week 5: Games night – Blender edition
  • Week 6: Connect Groups
  • Week 7: Movie night
  • Week 8: Youth Church
  • Week 9: Mini Youth Camp

Term 2, 2017 (May-Jul)

  • Week 1: Games night – Student edition
  • Week 2: Connect Groups
  • Week 3: Rock Climbing
  • Week 4: Connect Groups
  • Week 5: Board Games night
  • Week 6: Youth Takeover Service run through
  • Week 7: Connect Groups + CAP Money Youth
  • Week 8: Movie night
  • Week 9: Connect Groups
  • Week 10: Mid Winter Christmas Party

How we plan:

The basic philosophy behind our planning is a) get the students involved, and b) have only one item each night.

As you can see from the calendar above, there are some nights that get scheduled on a regular basis. In 2016 we ran Youth Church 4 times each term, and in 2017 we’ve shifted our focus to Connect Groups (or small groups). Games nights are a regular occurrence, and this year they became more low key due to me being a little out of action with pregnancy. We also have a movie night each term, usually towards the end of term when everyone is feeling tired and ready for school holidays.

Each holiday break we gather our student leaders together and plan out the following term. It’s great having their input because that way we know we’re planning something they want to do! Planning with our students also gives them the opportunity to put up their hand to help run a night, or run a game, or preach (the Student edition of games night was run by some of our student leaders. They each planned, prepped, and ran a game).

Keep it simple.

We plan like this mainly because we’re volunteering. We don’t have the time in our weeks to pull together a big ‘event’ or action-packed night week after week. So if it’s Youth Church, that’s what we focus on. If it’s a games night, we’ll be putting all our energy into pulling it off. But whatever it is we plan for a night, if we talk about the Gospel or not, we always make sure to pray!

Let’s talk:

  • What does a typical Youth Ministry Calendar look like for you?
  • What things have you learned over time that helps make your planning easier?

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