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)!
One thing I love is ministry specifically designed for girls. Although a girls night in February probably isn't going to happen for me... it's still fun to prep & be inspired! If you are wanting to create a girls night, here's my formula!
Just a solid reminder that you need to do what is right in your own ministry's eyes! I just had some fun giving you a few ideas and the "why" behind them!
New Years Eve is such an amazing time! Anticipation for the New Year has grown the whole month of December and is finally here! This year, I am in a new place! Knoxville, Tennessee is where I call home! And even though I'm in a new state, New Years is still one of the best times of the year! For anyone serving in student ministry, I would tell you it's so important to take advantage of this awesome time! Whether you're throwing a classy New Year's Party or you're starting a new student ministry vision and values series... it's important to invest some time and money into your first official mid week service in the new year!
This year, since I've only been at my new middle school girls' associate job for less than a month, but I still wanted to contribute to our service! Our team put me in charge of decor along with a couple other things for the night. My job was to provide decorations for 3 main areas including the entrance hallway, the entire (large) lobby, and the large group room inside. My goal down the long hallway was to have lights leading up to the lobby area. In the lobby area, I wanted the students to be entertained with elements (along with food) such as a "wishing tree", a photobooth, "guess how many" jar, and more! Even though I don't have my own pictures from the event, below are the inspiration pictures I used for the night!
Get to Know You Bingo
The Toilet Paper Game
Happy’s and Crappy’s
The Name Game
All Knotted Up
1. GO TO THEIR EVENTS
Your students will not only see that you care enough about them to take time out of your busy schedule to come and see them, but their parents will also see that you care about their kid!
This simple student-ministry-wide event was a BLAST, & it really reached a lot of people. The goal of this event was to share the gospel. We themed the night out to be all about the 80's! Parents in our ministry really loved this event because they could actually help their kid get ready for it (lol)! & Just in case you couldn't tell- our staff loved getting into it as well.