I used to be a boring youth minister. My first youth ministry was a part-time weekend job. I spent most of my time in the office writing lessons. Preparing to teach came more naturally to me than spending time with students.
My second youth ministry wasn’t much better. I wanted to emphasize the seriousness of discipleship. During my first month I said something like, “If you just want to have fun, this isn’t the place for you.” The youth group diminished to half its original size by the next week!
I am now a few years into my third youth ministry. It took me a while, but I’ve finally discovered the value of fun in ministry. One of my students posts pictures on social media of the things we do as a youth group. A friend recently told her, “Your youth group does a lot of fun stuff! Ours is so boring.”
I don’t try to compete with other ministries. But for a guy who used to be boring, it’s nice to know others are envious of how much fun we have! Here’s why you should make it a priority to start having more fun in your ministry:
Fun = Participation
Students won’t participate in something that isn’t fun. If they don’t enjoy it, count them out. The opposite is also true. If something is fun, students are willing to try it. And they’ll keep coming back for more.
Every lesson I teach includes a game or fun activity. Sometimes I give out prizes. This makes our students want to participate in our programs. They know they aren’t just going to learn about Jesus; they’re going to have fun!
Fun = Momentum
During my first year in my current ministry, Wednesday nights became dull. It was the same thing at the same place with the same people week after week. It was obvious everyone was getting bored (including me!).
So I decided to shake things up when we resumed in the fall. We started taking “field trips” the last Wednesday of every month. These are fun activities like laser tag, roller skating, bowling, mini golf, go karts, escape rooms, etc.
The students love it! They look forward to our field trips every month. These activities create fresh momentum by breaking up the monotony of our weekly program and giving students something to look forward to every few weeks.
Fun = Evangelism
Nobody wants to bring their friends to something boring. But if students have fun at church, they’ll probably invite their friends.
This is the main reason we started taking field trips. I want to give our students regular opportunities to invite their friends. During each field trip, I give a 5-minute gospel presentation. I wouldn’t have this opportunity if we weren’t doing something fun.
Adults Want to Have Fun Too
I am currently the Student & Interim Minister at my church. That means I am preaching until a new Sr Minister is hired. Do you know what I’m discovering? My students’ parents like having fun too! I try to incorporate a game or fun activity into every sermon. They love it!
Until a few months ago, it never occurred to me to play games during my sermons. But I finally realized preaching doesn’t have to be boring. It’s okay to have fun with adults the way I do with students.
No matter what age group you’re working with, a little fun goes a long way in ministry.
How does your church or ministry have fun? Share your thoughts with a comment below!
(If this post is helpful, share it with a friend! Or follow my blog to receive new posts!)