To help transition grade six students into youth ministry I find it helpful to invite them along to our Term 4 program.
I don’t think this is an earth-shattering idea.
But behind this idea is intentionality. There is intention in inviting graduating primary students and their parents to begin attending the youth ministry prior high school beginning.
In the life of the family the graduation of primary school is significant, particularly if it is their first child. It’s an exciting time for the family as they celebrate all that their child has achieved throughout their primary school life. It is also a daunting time, because in a couple of months their child will enter high school, where they start on the bottom rung of the school ladder and desire to find new friends and community.
So, while celebrating the final term of primary school and transitioning to high school, it becomes a good idea to transition students earlier than later. The amount of change going on in the family unit at the start of a new year, particularly when high school is a new step, doesn’t need to be heightened by throwing youth group into the mix. Instead, allowing students to attend early and get an idea of what it means to be part of the youth ministry helps alleviate stress come the new year.
I also believe this helps the parents of the student. Finishing off primary school can be stressful, and this is mixed with various information nights and transition days for high school. With all this going on parents seem pleased for their child to be invited to youth group, and it helps them get a taste for what could be part of the family calendar the following year. Being able to meet leaders, see the program themselves, and watch how their child is adapting to a group of high school students helps in their parenting, and the expectations for their child when they begin high school.
And finally, it is always great to have new people come along to any youth ministry. Inviting new people in Term 4 brings an energy to finish off the year. It lifts everyone to be intentional about their leadership, welcoming, and community-building. And, it’s always terrific to see the sparkle in the eyes of a first-timer.
Perhaps you haven’t thought much about transitioning students between primary and high school? It is worth doing so, and putting into place at least some invitation and communication about this.
Because of this, I have copied my welcome letter to grade six students and their parents, which is sent to them at the end of Term 3. Feel free to use as you like. I trust it will be helpful.