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We all need more rhythm.

I’m not talking about the kind of rhythm that makes us break into our favorite Fortnite dance when we hear the music.  I’m talking about the rhythm of our youth ministry schedules.

If you think about it, youth ministry needs rhythm.

Take fall and winter for example…

In the fall, we kick off a new school year with big kick-off nights and lots of momentum.

And then winter hits.

Goodbye momentum. Goodbye rhythm.

The rhythm of the fall gives way to a slower, interrupted season of youth ministry in the winter.

Youth group nights are a little hit and miss due to things like holidays, winter break, and even bad weather.

And, we see students quickly lose the habit of meeting together.

So, what do we do to keep the rhythm?

How can we carry the momentum of fall into winter?

Here are a handful of winter programming ideas for youth ministry that may just be what you need to keep that rhythm and momentum going into the spring:

Serve Together

Students like to serve.  So, leverage that, and plan a service activity together. Here are a few ideas…

  • Volunteer at a local agency that works with the homeless and serve a meal.
  • Find out who the widows are in your church and invite them to a board game night at your church.
  • Write encouragement/thank-you cards to the men and women in your church who are serving in the military.

Have Fun Together

The winter provides some great opportunities for fun youth group activities.  Depending on where you serve, you might be able to leverage snow days and make some great memories together.  Here are a few ideas…

  • Shovel snow together…at/around the church or somewhere that you can do it with a group of students.
  • Throw a movie marathon party in your youth room.
  • Find a good sledding hill and have a “glow-in-the-dark” sledding night with glow-sticks.

Relaunch Together

Typically, we all take a couple of weeks off of youth ministry during Christmas break.  And, the challenge is…how do we get our momentum back after the holidays?  Think of January like you think of September.  Basically, what you are trying to do in January is relaunch your youth ministry.  Because, you want that same momentum you had when you launched everything off back in September. Here are a few ideas…

  • Plan a winter retreat or a big relaunch event for the early part of January.
  • Create weekly youth group competitions between the classes and offer a big prize to the winning class at the last youth group in January.
  • Use the timing of the new year in how you develop your teaching theme in January…you might encourage students to think about who they want to be in the new year or what hitting the reset button might look like for them in the new year.  
  • These are just a handful of ideas for keeping the rhythm and momentum that we often get in the fall in youth ministry and carrying it with us into the winter.  

– Jason Matthews

Discussion Questions:

  1. What’s worked for you?  
  2. What have you done that’s helped you keep your ministry rhythm during the winter months?  




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