Repost: Making the Transition Easier
Over the summer I’m reposting some of the most viewed posts from the past year.
The other day I wrote about the steps that we’re taking to transition our middle school students up into the high school ministry. Today I want to talk a little about the steps were taking to make the rising 6th graders feel welcome.
Prime time Weekend – Every January our children’s ministry does a program for the 5th graders where they meet every Saturday for about 2 months. Then in April they have a special weekend for those students that participated in the course by having a lock-in at the church and a trip to Six Flags. My wife and I chaperoned this event last 2 years and were able to hangout with the students for a while on Friday night. It is a great weekend to get to know some of the rising 6th graders over the course of the weekend. We have been able to build solid relationships with them over the weekend, and it gave us an opportunity to get to meet some of the parents.
Children’s Camp – Over the summer our children’s ministry puts on a camp. I had the opportunity to be the camp pastor the last two years, and I will be going back this year to be the camp pastor again. This again gives us a week to get to know some of the rising 6th graders by spending a week with them at camp. We were able to make some good memories with our rising 6th graders before they even moved up into the middle school ministry.
*** I know that all youth pastors do not have children’s ministry events/camps like the ones described above at their church. But, it is so important for the youth pastor to go down into the children’s ministry and begin making connections with the students that will be moving into your ministry in a few short months.
Base Camp – We did this for the first time last year, and are planning on making this a regular part of our middle school ministry. Once the new 6th graders have moved into our ministry we will be hosting a weekend event just for them. On Friday night the 6th graders will come to the church and we will have some time to play games, and get to know one another a little better. Also, we will be giving them some idea of what the middle school ministry is all about. The students will spend the night at the church, and then on Saturday they will head off with some of our volunteers to do some activity (bowling, park, skating, etc.). We are then inviting the parents of these students to come to the church to share some information with them about our middle school ministry, things they will experience over the next few years from their middle school students, etc. Also, we are hoping that it will be a time that parents can connect with each other and learn from each other.
It can be a scary thing for an 11 year old to walk into a room when they don’t know anyone and everyone seems to be so much bigger than them. I have found that being involved in some activities with them before their move up date has paid off in big ways with both the students and the parents.
What do you do to help students transition from the children’s ministry into middle school?
Posted on July 16, 2012, in Middle School Ministry, Student Ministry, Youth Ministry and tagged Jr. High, Middle School, Summer Camp, Transition, Youth Ministry. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.