Change can be hard. Some people thrive on it. Others are paralyzed by it. As they say, change is inevitable. How we prepare for it is vital. Hemorrhaging Faith demonstrated that transitions are key opportunities for churches to support children and youth. So what are key steps in ensuring an effective transition? Here are some suggestions from a youth worker’s perspective.
FROM CHILDREN’S MINISTRY TO YOUTH MINISTRY
- With your children’s ministry leader(s), identify who will be coming to the youth ministry in the fall. Ask for as much information about those children as you can (e.g. family background, temperaments, faith development, other “you should know” items).
- Be present at some children ministry programs from now until the summer. This could include a Sunday school per month, participating in VBS or other activities you could be involved in.
- Meet with the parents of the children who are coming in the fall. Let them know what they can expect from the youth ministry and how you’re supporting them.
- Have a “graduation” service where those children are recognized for their time in children’s ministry and moving into the youth ministry.
- Celebrate the children ministry leaders!
FROM YOUTH MINISTRY TO POST-SECONDARY STUDIES
- Discuss with each graduating student what their transition plan looks like. (You may need to help coach them through it.)
- Provide opportunities for them to connect with some campus groups at their new school. For example, Ambassadors for Christ hosts an event called “Frosh Connexion” in August for Chinese Christian Fellowship and Asian Christian Fellowship campus groups (although you don’t have to be Asian to attend).
- For students moving away for studies, help them find key contacts at their new residence. You can email Alvin for an updated list (and we hope to have all those contacts available on our website in the near future).
- Have church members “adopt a student”, starting now. They can regularly pray and connect with those students (maybe even provide a care package once in a while).
Also, if you’re interested in finding out how to be effective in transitions, sign up for Tanya and Alvin’s Assembly learning session “Lost in Transition” on Saturday, June 14.
What other ways do you help ensure an effective transition? Share your ideas!