Many churches offer midweek ministry options. They are a great way to keep people in connection with God and with other believers in addition to Sunday services. While some people opt not to participate in midweek classes, studies, or youth groups due to distance from church or their schedules, many do find it wonderful to have options for connecting with others and the Word of God during the week. From babies to grandparents, there are many ways to get together.
In this article, we’re going to break people down by groups and go through some options for each of them, then ask some questions to help get you thinking about what your midweek ministry goals currently are.
Adult Midweek Options
- Small groups (in homes and/or at church with childcare available)
- Support groups
- College group (activities, mixers, events, etc.)
- Men’s and Women’s bible studies (early mornings, at church, evenings in homes)
- Senior bible studies
Youth/Teen Midweek Options
- Pre-programmed options such as Awana (toddlers to high school) or Pioneer Club (toddlers to middle school)
- Church-created original bible programs
- Upper grades program for 4th and 5th graders separately
- Middle school youth group (6-8th grades)
- High school youth group (9-12th grades)
- Special events such as worship nights, themed nights, party nights, etc.
Now, I’m going to stop your wheels from turning and ask you to assess your church’s goals.
What are you currently doing with midweek ministry? Is it meeting people’s needs?
I’m a big fan of talking to people. I know it seems elementary, but if you pick up the phone and call maybe five to ten parents of kids of varying ages in your congregation, chances are they will give you some incredibly valuable feedback. Just listen. Then pray. Then act.
Start and End Times
Start and end times are usually somewhat of a challenge. Younger kids need to end earlier in order to get to bed and go to school the next day. While middle and high schoolers can often handle staying up later, families with a “spread” of kids will find the pick up/drop off a bit of a frustrating factor if the times of various midweek ministry events do not match. While this isn’t too much of a factor for adult classes or small groups, it is an important component for youth ministries.
Many churches opt to have all youth ministry programs on one night of the week, often on Wednesday night. It is, after all, right smack in the middle of the week. If you do have all programs going on during one evening of the week, it can be helpful to aim to offer something for children of all ages so that parents can volunteer. While this might not be feasible for parents of babies, unless your church offers childcare, if churches offer Awana, for example, there are programs for toddlers up through 12th grade. Parents can stay and volunteer if all their kids are occupied in their own classes.
Start everyone at 6:00 pm or 6:30 pm and end everyone at 7:30 pm or 8:00 pm. Not being out until 9:00 pm or later on a school night will make parents and teachers happy alike.
As the church communication director at his previous church, Ryan Holck comments, “If you’re in the core family target, ministry time has to fit in one and a half hours and start and end at the same time. It’s the only way you can do it. After all, it’s about the whole campus-wide vision, not just one class.”
Here are a few more helpful articles about midweek ministry to get you headed in the right direction:
For smaller churches with one youth minister or one key volunteer, perhaps groups can be split up into meeting two separate nights of the week. But beware, families with kids in more than one age group (most people) will find it difficult to add extra busyness to their calendars by driving to the church multiple nights of the week for separate youth ministries. You run the risk of burning out the families whom you seek to bless.