Let’s Talk Transition

Wendy Douglas —  March 31, 2011

The past few weeks I have started thinking about the transition from children’s ministry to jr high ministry that my 5th grade girls will be making in just a few months. I want to make this move as smooth as possible for them, but I also want to be sure that I can prepare them as best as possible too.

Here are a few thoughts:

Have a conversation with the jr high/student pastor. Work together on a plan for this transition.

Remember that it’s not only a transition for the kids, but the parents as well.

What else can I teach them before they move up?  How do I communicate that I am still available to them as a mentor yet empower the student pastor at the same time? What conversations do I need to have with parents?

How do you handle the time of transition for your kids moving on to student ministry?

Wendy Douglas

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Wendy is married to a warrior for the last 18 years and Mom to three boys. She volunteers in KidzPlace at The Gathering Church in Sevierville, TN. She reads almost anything she can get her hands on. In addition to contributing to Kidmin1124, she maintains her own blog called Saved Sister at http://savedsister7.blogspot.com/.

4 responses to Let’s Talk Transition

  1. At our church, we have a little different structure. About 8 years ago (well before I was on staff), the leadership created a program called Fusion, for 5th & 6th graders. It has really helped with this crucial transition.

    To help kids transition from Children’s Ministry (through 4th grade) to Fusion (which we consider under Student Ministry) here are some things that are done:
    — in the summer, weeks before the transition, the Fusion Director meets with the rising 5th graders after Big Group time. She gives a short overview about Fusion, and shows them where they’ll be.
    — lots of information is sent out about this meeting
    — I think she does 1 or more parent meetings (as a group) as well.

    Mostly, because of our great Fusion program, the kids are super excited and not at all apprehensive.

  2. I believe that is what we will move to in the future…a preteen ministry. Right now our children’s ministry elementary goes from 1st to 5th grade and then 6th graders move up to the middle school ministry. That is how our schools are set up in the area. I look forward to the time when there is a preteen ministry.

    • Wendy,
      At our church we have the fourth and fifth graders together, so like yourself we are prepping them for the transition. We take them upstairs for praise and worship, and service. They will have the oppotunity to go to sseveral events with the middle schoolers so they can get to their peers and leaders. We will have a “graduation” service for the fifth graders in which I make them a graduation certificate and give them a piece of modeling clay (I relate how they are the clay and during the next 6 years God will be changing and molding them into the young men and women they are called to be).
      I know that I will be sobbing as I say good-gye to another group of kids! Soon they will be bringing their kids for me to teach! LOL!

  3. One of the great parts of our 5th & 6th grade programming is the fact that it divides kids differently than our local schools do. The transition to middle school is tough for 6th graders, but on Sundays THEY are the confident veterans.