For the last year we have struggled with our “combined” program. We’ve seen an increase of middle school students and a decrease in our high school. I recognized the need for separation but didn’t have the means by which to make a healthy and successful split. So I committed to pray, asking God to show us the time when a split would be right.
I now believe the “right” time has come. Thanks to a recent decision to make changes within the school district, we will launch a new middle school ministry this September.
I’m excited by this for many reasons. The last three years (almost 4) have been a series of ups and downs. Transition is hard when you follow someone who is the 180-opposite of who you are. But we are finally coming to a place where our current students know the ministry within the context of my leadership. It has become a much younger group made up of a handful of high school students and a whole lot of junior high students. Come September, the number of high school students will significantly change, almost doubling our current numbers. The best part is, these students will only know Crossroads with me in the lead position.
April will come with significant change and adjustment. Our new church building should be completed in just a few weeks. April 10, has been designated as our first worship service in the new space. It will also be the first night of Crossroads in the new space. AND, it will be the night we welcome the incoming middle school students. Along with the change of numbers in the high school ministry, we stand to welcome as many as 30 new 6th and 7th graders from our Children’s Ministry.
Suddenly we have the opportunity to do something brand new. While nothing will change immediately, the fall will bring a new Middle School Ministry. Since we currently do not have “middle school” ministry, we are able to create something that has never been done before.
So here’s my question, “What do you DO, with your middle school ministry?”
Yeah, I know what it should be; I get the youth group thing. What I’m looking for is what you’ve done to create a new ministry? What pitfalls should I watch out for when starting new? What helpful advice would you give? How have you been innovative and original? What have you done to make the transition from children’s ministry to middle school ministry something that feels natural for the student?
I have lots of ideas for this new program. But I am interested in hear what others have done, so please comment below. Thanks.