A Cookout to Finishing Summer Strong


I don’t know about you but the summer always seems to bring a wide variety of experiences and a peak of energy for our ministry.  Last spring our Student Ministry team was brainstorming about how to finish the Summer “strong” after having a summer filled with momentum builders.  Our simple solution? Have a celebration cookout.  Now this might sound overly simple but this simple cookout provides us a way to do a few things right in our back parking lot.

1. Capitalize on already existing momentum.

Great trips produce great momentum in a ministry and finishing a summer of great trips provides great momentum that can be sustained into Fall programming.  Students want to be together so give them a simple way to be together.

2. Share the awesome things God has done.

Towards the end of the cookout create a time for a short worship.  During this worship ask a few students from each trip to share how they experienced God.  This helps students practice articulating how they experience God as well as helps other students learn about other trips.

3. Get your parents involved!

Someone has to be manning the grill and pouring drinks so invite parents to come and join in the fun.  Parents will get to see and hear all the excitement that the summer ministry has produced.

4. Promote your fall!

If you had a great Summer then here are some great things we have starting this Fall!  Take a moment at the end to tell everyone what is coming up next and emphasize that the Summer may be over but there are still ways to connect with and serve God.


What do you need?

  • See if a few parents are willing to bring and man grills.
  • Provide the meat and divide grades up to bring sides, drinks, and desserts.
  • Set out some yard games: Cornhole, Spikeball, KanJam, and Ninesquare  are all great.
  • Some speakers and music.
  • Cone off an area of the parking lot or church yard.
  • Go back through your trip rosters invite those student to come and invite friends.


This is a great and simple way to finish up the Summer celebrating God, continuing fellowship, and heading into the Fall on a positive note.


Adam serves as the Minister to High School Students at Brentwood United Methodist in Brentwood TN. Adam has a degree in Biblical and Theological Studies from Lambuth University and a Masters in Youth Ministry from Memphis Theological through the Center for Youth Ministry Training. Adam and his wife Carlisle both serve in youth ministry in separate United Methodist Churches and spend most of their time ministering to teens and laughing at their bulldogs, Hurley and Patty. You can follow Adam on Twitter @adamcjones.