Welcome to Middle School
This past summer we changed up our grade bracket for one80. Previously we were a 7th-12th grade ministry, and now we are a 6th-12th grade ministry. To kick this change off we hosted a Welcome to Middle School picnic. Our thinking was that we would offer a big event to celebrate and give our current students a chance to interact with and welcome our incoming 6th and 7th graders. Before I get too far removed from the event and into next year’s planning and programming I wanted to share some observations:
- Don’t expect something new to generate buzz simply because it is new. Though we have over 20 teens who fall in this 6th – 8th grade range, only a couple showed up. The newness was not enough to generate a buzz that attracted some of those who have been on the fringe in church involvement.
- Have a workable Plan “B.” Our original plan was to use a local park. Somehow the park reservation was fouled up and we were unable to host our picnic outside due to weather. Our Plan “B” was the church’s multi-purpose room.
- Celebrate those who do come. Though we did not reach a large percentage of the potential teens we could have, we were able to welcome the students who did come and their families. At one point we separated the current students off from the group and allowed them to fill in our new teens on what to expect while the adult leaders spoke with the parents who those who were coming into our ministry.
- Pray. I do not feel that we spent enough time as a leadership team in prayer for this event. I know that I did not focus as much as I should have in my own life.