Summers are often times where people slow down. But, when you’re a pastor who works with youth and children (as Jill and I both do), summers can be the busiest time of the year!
Working with the youngest kids at church, both of us are in charge of planning and running Vacation Bible School. A lot of coordinating goes into preparing for this week-long day camp experience for our kids. We plan Bible lessons, prepare crafts, teach camp songs, and get ready for games. Through this week, we want our kids from age three through fifth grade to have fun, make friends, and learn about God’s love for them. We train and support teenagers and adults to work with these kids. It’s so much fun to see our kids getting to know each other in a new way and having such a blast at church.
We also take trips every summer with our teenagers. Sometimes these trips are outdoor adventures: backpacking in the mountains of Montana or canoeing in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota. Sometimes these trips are educational and based on service: visiting the Ogalala Lakota Native American reservation of South Dakota or the US-Mexico border in California or painting houses in the outer areas of Chicago. It’s awesome to have time away with our teenagers – to see friendships develop, to get to know young people in a new way, and to see the world through new eyes as we meet new people and visit new places. We love traveling to see how God works throughout different parts of creation and people living in such different places from us.
Working with the young people of the church is one of the best parts of our job as pastor. Summer may be busy, but it’s also a time where a different schedule allows our kids at church to experience church and God and the community in new and different ways. And that is awesome!
<3 Gretchen (and Jill)