You’ve got a limited budget for your youth ministry - if you’ve got one at all. Maybe you’ve had some cuts this year, or maybe you’re in the rare group that even got a little budget bump. Here’s when I think are the best times to buy youth ministry resources:
Late Summer – small group material, volunteer training/development
Right now is the best time to check out potential resources for your small groups. Check out curriculum from a few different sources, and be sure to download samples to make sure it fits in your context. Think about building your volunteer team as well, look for good resources to pour into your people and help them become better youth workers.
Some suggestions: LIVE, 99 Thoughts for Youth Workers (ha!), Youth Leader Training on the Go
Fall – personal development books/tools
November and December are slow months for me personally (small groups are going, campaign is over, the big kickoffs and back-to-school launch are done) so during the holidays I like to read. Pick a few books that you’ve been wanting to read, order them and be sure you make the time to read them, too.
Some suggestions: Thriving Youth Groups, Sustainable Youth Ministry, Speaking to Teenagers
Winter – updates to small group curriculum, retreat help
Winter is the time when most youth ministries work hard to carry over the momentum from the fall. The weather has changed, and the “newness” of the year has faded. Take some time to research possible retreat centers or winter camps, then find some resources to help you pull it off. I like to do some mid-year evaluation on our small group materials then, too.
Some suggestions: Camp in a Can, Guy Talk Girl Talk
Spring - summer materials, missions trip stuff
Youth ministry usually changes in the summer, so change up your resources to go with it. Try something new – maybe go for something unexpected. Also, most missions and workcamps happen around Spring Break and summer, so think of what tools will help your missions effort, too.
Some suggestions: Mission Trips from Start to Finish, Prepare Go Live
Sales – everything
Whenever there’s a sale on stuff you’ve been looking to pick up for your youth ministry, pick it up to stretch that dollar even further. Buying many things at once helps to save on shipping from online retailers, too.
Some clearance suggestions: Igniter Videos, Youth Ministry in the 21st Century, Every Young Man’s Battle
When do you buy youth ministry resources?