As I write this, there is a lot of transition going on in my life. My fingernails have been bitten down to the bone because so much is going on and it just doesn’t seem like there is enough time or energy to manage it all. I’m taking on the full leadership of preteen ministry at Fellowship, which involves about 60 volunteers and 300 fifth and sixth graders. I’m in and out of town all summer with children’s camps and other trips. Our daughter is now crawling, so nothing is in a safe distance from her grasp. And my wife, Dana, and I just this morning bought a house that needs its share of TLC. A lot is changing. It is fun, but it is also daunting.
This has just further reminded me of the pains in transitioning preteens from elementary to middle school/jr. high. This is such a taxing time emotionally, physically, and even spiritually. For those of us in children’s ministry, this is one of the most critical parts of our job. And yet, it is often overlooked. This takes some attention and planning to be successful. It also takes a partnership between the children’s and student ministries. If you haven’t done so already, let me encourage you to sit down with key leaders and staff from children’s ministry and student ministry at your church and ask these questions:
What is your strategy for helping a preteen to successfully manage the transition from elementary to Jr. High?
How do you prepare them for this transition to a new ministry before they reach this point?
What do you do to celebrate/commemorate this passage between stages of life?
How do you equip the parents to lead their kids during this process?
How do you evaluate the effectiveness of your strategy?
These questions are great to ask about every transition between life stages, such as between preschool and elementary or high school and college.
I posted a few weeks ago about the strategy that we used this year to help preteens navigate this transition. You can read about that HERE.
If you have any questions about events that we do for preteens, you can contact me via TWITTER or EMAIL.