Many churches have been able to resume a more normal schedule for children’s and youth ministry this year, including special events such as youth retreats, holiday celebrations, and more. These events can be wonderful additions to the regular, ongoing discipleship programs of the church. However, it’s important to create and plan these events within the overall vision in mind. Are these events serving to guide students to know, honor, and treasure God, setting their hope in Christ alone, so that they will live as faithful disciples for the glory of God?
In her seminar, “Reinforcing the Vision with Events and Programs,” Betty Dodge provides some helpful guidance.
Glorify God and increase joy in Him by planning events that:
- Display the glory of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior (1 Corinthians 10:31; 2 Corinthians 4:6).
- Cause His Word to dwell richly in His people by His Spirit (Colossians 3:16-17).
- Deepen the relationship between Christ and His Church, and build relationships within the believer’s household (Psalm 25:4, 14; Philippians 3:10).
- Serve to make disciples of Christ and bring them to maturity in Him (Colossians 1:28-29; Titus 2:3-8).
- Wait on God… be devoted to prayer and His word. This will yield blessings from God for all involved.
- God’s Word is the foundation and anchor of your event and will bring clarity to God’s particular purposes for it. Let the Word of God define the vision, themes, decisions— impacting all that you do for the event (Jeremiah 15:16; 2 Timothy 3:16).
- Every event requires volunteers who are called by God and believe in the vision for your events. If the event coordinator does everything for the event, it will not meet its goals. Recruit members of your local body and cast the vision.
- Design your event to be a vehicle for discipleship and partnering with parents.