SO, it's nearing the end of March. Spring breaks are finishing and you and the student ministry team are gearing up for sweet, sweet Summer time! Not gonna lie, I LOVE the hustle and bustle of Summer! Camps, VBS, and mission trips are coming in strong with full force. Since there's so much happening in the Summer, it's so important to plan for all these awesome events earlier in the year! But one overlooked, yet equally important, thing that happens in summer, which tends to be forgotten until usually the end of July is TRANSITIONING! The time when everything shifts and when it comes to middle and high school ministry, some of the most important shifts include, when 5th graders move up to 6th grade, and when 8th graders move up to 9th grade.
SO, why am I writing this in March? BECAUSE YOU NEEDED TO START EASING INTO TRANSITIONS BEFORE MARCH, SO I'M HERE TO SAVE THE DAY IF YOU HAVEN'T STARTED ALREADY... that's why (& you're welcome :)!)
Here's a few helpful options for easing into the next level, instead of diving headfirst...
1. Rotate Speakers // Have the MS pastor, or 6th grade teachers down to teach a 5th grade class. Have the HS pastor teach the Middle Schoolers on a Wednesday Night. The more familiar the guy on stage is, the more comfortable everyone will be.
2. Built-In View Time // Have a Wednesday Night or Sunday Morning where the grade coming up visits the area they'll be in next year! This builds anticipation and again, gets them a little more familiar with the area so they are less nervous and more excited than anything!
3. Parent Meetings // I believe that some parents take these transitions harder than some students, and that is not a bad thing, it's just reality! As a student ministry worker, it is our job to make sure the parent feels comfortable, prepared, and informed. Host a couple meetings with upcoming parents --> talk through different weekly programs you have, describe the events your ministry has throughout the year, let them know your communication plan, and tell them how they can be involved (yay for future volunteers)!