This is the sixth post in my series on The 9 Dynamic Ways To Revive Your Youth Ministry. Click HERE to start at the beginning if you like.
If you want to revive your youth ministry, look to the bottom grade level. Look at who is coming up from your kids ministry. Look at the middle school kids you already have. Here are some questions you’ll want to ask yourself and then do something about.
Do you have separate times to bond with just middle school kids?
Schedule some time to attend middle school events your middle school kids are in. Not because they are your biggest givers or give you the most affirmation, but because they are most likely to receive your investment as genuine love and interest.
Have you created an on-ramp for middle school kids to serve?
Whenever the church has asked me if there was anyone who could do X, I normally would recommend a middle schooler. I did so because I knew if they caught the serving bug, they’d go all in on it.
Middle school is a great age for discovery what they are good at and if we give them opportunity accompanied by affirmation, the church will benefit from their commitment for years to come.
Do you visit your children’s ministry once in a while to say hello?
I like to make monthly visits to kids church. I poke my head in and say hello and ask if they need anything. I like to meet new kids because one day they could be in the youth ministry and I don’t want them to think of me as a stranger.
I also volunteer for VBS, to take pictures at the Easter Egg Hunt, and do a booth at the Fall Festival. Is it always convent and simple to do these things? No, but I am sowing towards the future which means I need to plow the ground now.
Do your high school kids have a sense of responsibility?
Plan a few middle school only events and maybe ask some of your high school kids to tag along and “help”. Getting your high school kids to invest in the younger kids teaches them to pass on what they have learned.
I always remind my High School students that one day they won’t be in youth group any more. I ask then, “What will you leave behind?” This is discipleship.
“Go into your own youth ministry and make disciples of all middle school students.” Doing so brings a revival of service and an excitement from the bottom up.
How will you bring your middle school kids in?
We have a youth group of about 15-20 kids, which makes bringing middle school kids in homey and less anxious for the student.
Last year the middle school created a chain of teaches and students that an upcoming middle school student followed over to the youth room. It was the kids church’s way of seeing one of their own off to the youth ministry.
When the middle school student arrived our students picked them up off the ground, lifted them into the air, and cheered them. Pretty powerful stuff. The student also received a box of goodies, a bible, etc.
Here’s a video I did talking about a gift box for guests, it may give you some ideas.
Pay attention to the “bottom” of your youth ministry, it’s where life begins and the future is stored.