By Crystal Mazzuca
High school graduation is celebrated with pomp and circumstance that can’t be beat. We work tirelessly to prepare these young adults for the twists and turns of the big world they are about to launch into. And yet, too often we can make too little of another incredibly important transition in the lives of these young people we care so much about. That transition is the transition into middle school and student ministry.
As Kids’ Ministry workers, we give our all to build a solid foundation of faith in the lives of those we’ve been called to. We also have the unique opportunity to prepare and launch them well as they cross the bridge into middle school and student ministry.
Crossing the Bridge at Church
When students transition into student ministry, they are moving into a new and foreign world. We can help alleviate some of their uncomfortable feelings by intentionally connecting them before they move. Invite the student ministry staff and small group leaders to meet and connect with their soon-to-be students. Have your kids go and visit what will be their new space. Host a time where your kids get a preview morning or evening of what their future ministry life will look like. The more familiar they are with what is to come and the more known they already feel, the smoother their transition into student ministry will go.
Crossing The Bridge at Home
Just as we need to be intentional with helping our kids move up, we need to partner with and prepare families for this time as well. The same way you welcome the student ministry staff and volunteers to connect with your kids, encourage them to meet with your parents. Allow them to share their vision and heart for ministry, helping these new families know that their kids will be in safe and caring hands. Consider hosting family nights or classes where you can prepare parents and families for what to expect as their kids move into this new season of life.
Crossing The Bridge in Their Hearts
The difference between elementary school and middle school is monumental. One of the best things we can do for our kids is to prepare them spiritually for what is to come. We can do things like investing in a student Bible for each child and giving them tools to dig into God’s word themselves. We can pair them with a caring mentor who will commit to praying for them and walking alongside them through their teen years. And we can have a pomp and circumstance filled evening with them and their families where we pray for and send them off into all that God has for them."The more intentional we are with this transition time, the better our kids will be set up to thrive in the wonderful world of student ministry." Click To Tweet
The more intentional we are with this transition time, the better our kids will be set up to thrive in the wonderful world of student ministry.
Crystal Mazzuca has served in family ministry for 20 years and is currently a Director of Kids’ Ministry in Olympia, Washington. She has a Master’s Degree in Christian Education Administration from Regent University and loves to encourage and equip leaders to disciple the next generation. She is a single mom to 3 boys, a proud nerd, and would cross oceans for a good cup of coffee.