One of the most challenging times in ministry (and there are many) is youth transitioning between KidMin to StuMin. Many churches have found that moving children into a student ministry can be a challenge. The reasons for this can vary, but whether it is the transition to another pastor or younger children are now with older students, the crossover is a beast to wrestle with. In order to truly help usher the children to the next level of ministry; student ministry and children’s ministry need to do a better job of partnering together. Here are some ways you can have a healthier partnership:
- Leadership Need To Connect Regularly- Don’t be strangers. Connecting over coffee or grabbing a quick bite can help establish a better partnership with each other. Ministries will have a difficult time working together if the ministry leaders are not getting together.
- Teaching Switch- Most children grow up with their children’s pastor and know many of the volunteers who invested into their young lives. To kids, student ministry leaders are not known. My suggestion is that kid and student leaders periodically do a teaching switch. This will enable kids to know the face of the student pastor and give newly inducted students a chance to re-connect with their old pastor.
- Be Deliberate & Strategic- It is a fact that one day the kids in your children’s ministry will grow up. It is also true that children will move up into student ministry. For that reason do not come up with rushed solutions a month before the crossover happens; conversations need to be had early and together you need to be strategic in order to have a successful crossover.
- Parental Involvement– It is funny because all connections to parents tend to drop-off after kids enter student ministry. This is not always a ministry problem but sometimes a parenting problem- that will be a different post. However, parents are very much involved when kids first move up to student ministry. Children’s ministry must connect with parents early in the process and student ministry must continue that connection for as long as possible.
- Follow Through- Children’s/student ministry leaders need to follow up with the kids making the transition. Three months or even six months after the crossover, children might begin to drop out of the student ministry. The best way to prevent this is to have a clear list of those who moved up and ensure that they made the transition successfully. It kills me to see churches lose a third of their children only a couple months after moving up to student ministry.
There are definitely more ideas out there and I would to hear them. As a family pastor I would like to see my children’s ministry prepare youth for student ministry and for student ministry to continue developing these kids after they crossover. Please share some insights or ideas you might have…love to hear what you are doing to improve the partnership between kid ministry & student ministry.