GRADE TRANSITIONS OFTEN LOOK LIKE RESET BUTTONS | Yancy
I remember overseeing worship for our preteen ministry years ago . We had been progressing along nicely for a couple years . However there had been some shifts happening . There were some little behavior things popping up . It was the first time that what we had been doing wasn ’ t just working how it had been . Although organizationally we had been moving forward , down the same path and vision , for a few years I realized that those in our classroom had changed . This particular class was only a three-year age span . My original sixth graders had been gone for a couple years at this point . The youngest kids in our class had only been here for a couple of months . It was the first time that I realized how much transition can happen within your class all because of birthdays or specific promotion weekends .
I have found most churches either transition kids up to their new class at the very end of the school year or just before kids go back to school . Many have a specific weekend and make a big deal celebrating these kids as they promote up to the next age specific class for them . All of those things are good and infuse some energy into things in a unique way .
In these seasons it ’ s imperative to hit the reset button . You can ’ t assume that these new kids will know and understand everything about how you ’ re going to do worship time . In fact , if they transitioned from a preschool or kindergarten type class to your elementary class it ’ s probably a huge change . Both in style of song they are singing and maybe even what participation looks like . It could be a completely brand new , set of songs and they need some time to get to know them . That ’ s a hurdle to consider . Maybe you even adjust your song sets for a couple months to include something that they have been familiar with previously so it ’ s not all new songs to them . This would also be a great time of year to share with families a playlist that you build on Spotify and / or Apple Music of songs you are using in your ministry . If you can get these families to listen along Monday-Saturday it makes them more familiar so they can engage even more on Sunday .
I want to challenge you to not just keep leading how you were leading before these new kids arrived . These seasons become a great time to start drawing the box around what is worship for your kids ? Break it down and let them know a bit about why their worship matters to God . Share with them how to engage in worship in this new season and place that they are now in . Let them know what ’ s expected . Share with them what ’ s not okay . Be clear about what your invitation to worship is . Make a note that you need to teach more specifically about worship near this transition time in the fall or summer every year . Consider this to be a moment where you ’ re metaphorically walking up to these new kids and inviting them to “ come follow me as I follow Christ .”
Remember to spend some time off stage introducing yourself and getting to know these new kids . They don ’ t have years of knowing you as their worship leader . The off-stage time you spend with them will reap much as you step on stage to lead them each week .
When I was able to step back and realize the shifts and changes that had happened , it helped me realize why I was experiencing the hiccups we were . And I also realized it was okay . It ’ s natural progressions to life and growth . It helped me know that I needed to be more intentional to put into this group of kids some of the same things that I had shared years before to teach the previous group the heart of worship . The beautiful part of working with kids is your work is never done . Every year consider that transition time is also a lot like hitting a reset button . You can ’ t expect the new group that arrived to be in the same place spiritually as the ones that just graduated out of your class . You are not just a leader of songs , but you are a leader of worship ! I believe in you .
Even as you are hitting the reset button to meet their needs right now , remember to look ahead . What things do you need to start preparing this group for that is coming next ?
© 2021 Yancy Ministries , Inc . Yancy Yancy is a worship leader and songwriter for kids that travels the globe doing family concerts and training worship leaders . Every week her songs are used in thousands of churches around the world . Yancy has a passion to serve the Church which is why she created “ Heartbeat ”, a five lesson curriculum series to teach kids the heart of worship . Her beloved “ Little Praise Party ” series for young kids newest project is “ Ready , Set , Go ”. She lives with her husband and sons in Nashville , TN .
YancyMinistries . com