December is here and for many of us that means that there are many things to begin thinking about; summer schedules, retreats, upcoming sermon series, Christmas Eve services, budgets, and much, much more.

All of those things are of immense importance BUT there is one thing we should ALL be thinking about that sadly gets overlooked at this time of year…transitions.

There’s a lot to be said about transition and for this post I want to primarily focus on the 5th to 6th (or for some of you 6th to 7th) transition. Whatever grade it may be, this time of transition is pivotal for those students and their parents. So, the question is, what are you doing about it in January?

Many of those students and their parents are already thinking about what’s next for them so it is key to engage them in that conversation. Doing so allows you to share with them about what’s coming next for them in life and how your ministry strategically partners with them to help prepare them for what’s to come as they enter this next stage of life.

My encouragement to you would be to meet with your Kid’s Ministry team as soon as possible and discuss what your strategy will look like come January. The goal of that conversation is to leave with 4-5 touchpoints for those students and families, along with a communication strategy for the months to come.

Here are some ideas to help get the brainstorm session rolling:

Hop into a pre-existing Kid’s Ministry event or in their weekly environment.

  • Whether running games or just hanging around & having fun with students; showing up at a pre-existing Kid’s Ministry event with the purpose of introducing yourself and connecting with students (and their families during drop-off/pick-up) is a low-effort/high result approach to helping them transition. If the event/environment includes 4th graders then keep them in there! It’s great for them to hear what’s coming their way in the next year!

5th/6th Grade Open House for Student and Parents.

  • Invite those upcoming students and families to come to a night of your programming. If you can, set up an area for all of them to hang out in before the program. During that time, invite other experienced volunteer leaders or parents familiar with your ministry to float around and engage with the parents, answer questions, and build relationships.

Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

  • Communicate early and often what you’re doing!  Create a postcard, email template, social media post…for you AND Kid’s Ministry to share with families. That information should include upcoming touchpoints, events, and transition dates, as well as how they can receive further information/communication from you!

I’ll leave you with this; what is your plan for students transitioning and how are you collaborating with Kid’s Ministry to make sure that the transition is smooth and communicates value to your people? Now, let’s get after it.

-Joe Crabb