In the early days of professional youth ministry it was commonplace for summer to be downtime for the Youth Pastor. This never made any sense to me. We would take three months when students were usually available and often bored and churches would slow down their youth ministries. Many youth workers were not paid during the summer months and had to find other jobs. In fact, I spent my earliest summers in ministry working at a summer camp because I had summers off. By the time of my first summer at Springfield Friends Meeting in 1987 all of this was changing. We planned events on Wednesdays and Sundays and our first trip to Disney World. At the 1987 NYWC I attended a seminar that challenged me to expand our summer ministry and to improve our communication. The summer of 1988 was my first shot at doing both.
The programs and events for that summer now seem very tame by my later standards, but they were the start of something big! We continued to meet on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday nights (giving our award-winning TNT program the summer off). We took trips to Myrtle
Beach (That's Amy, Lavonia, Andi & Heather pictured at The Betsy B in 1988) and Atlanta. We had our first ever Youth Week, with events every day, including a trip to Carowinds and a concert by me at the Covered Bridge Pizza Parlor in Archdale. We had our first ever Breakfast Club; our first ever trip to feed the homeless of High Point at Our Father's Table; our first ever end of the summer Luau! We collected cans of tuna to help Urban Ministry feed the hungry. We attended Quaker Lake together and had our own class at VBS. Every ministry and event that would come in the later years got a start in the summer of '88.
Because of Jesus,