Milkshake Mondays

     Inviting students into the everyday rhythm of our family life is what Milkshake Mondays are all about. Every Monday we load up the swagger wagon (our blue Mazda 5...complete with a family set of Star Wars stickers on the back) and head to church. My husband Tim and son Josh take an archery class (from someone training at the Olympic Training center!) while Jenna, the eight year old takes art with a cool Asian art teacher wearing a gray painters cap. I cram in a quick office hour while my toddler watches Yo Gabba Gabba on my ipad. We are all at church and come 6pm we are hungry for some food. So we head to Chick-Fil-A for Milkshake Monday.
Buy a milkshake and get an 8 count of chicken bites FREE! 
     When you work in ministry and have a busy family to manage, how do you make time for relationship hours? The hours you set aside for people within your ministry you want to connect with and get to know.   It's simple... take a look at what you are already doing week in and week out. Your schedule has some degree of predictability to it whether you are a student, single, or married with a family. When it was obvious our Mondays consisted of frequent visits to Chick-Fil-A, Milkshake Monday was born.
     Each Monday I invite a couple of students to meet me and the family at Chick-Fil-A for dinner. I offer to buy them a milkshake. Teens typically don't turn down free food, and a milkshake is less than a Starbucks! The beauty of Milk Shake Mondays at Chick-Fil-A is it comes with an 8 count of chicken bites. So yummy and cost effective. We sit at a table nearest the kid friendly play area. After we chow down, my kiddos play on the playground and my husband and I chat it up with our high schoolers. It's awesome. This evening two teen girls from a military family had dinner with us. They had so many crazy stories to share from their travels and interesting adventures about all the different places they have lived. We laughed so hard I almost peed my pants! And of course, my 20 month old baby girl is always a big hit with the high school girls.

     My favorite moments in youth ministry are the shared meals and laughs taking place outside of program time. The ones which happen organically driving students home or over milkshakes. The talks, laughs, jokes, and honest conversations occurring outside of church. When we can be ourselves (complete with our own kids in tow) and invite teens into the everyday rhythm of our life...dirty diapers, spilled drinks, and all.  Therefore I {heart} Milk Shake Mondays!

How do you invite students into the rhythm of your every day life?


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