PROMOTION SUNDAY: How to Welcome New Students into Your Youth Ministry
We are talking promotion season with this Article and Training.
It's a super exciting time in youth ministry. There's the excitement of new fifth grade students coming into sixth grade or your six graders coming in the seventh if that's how your youth ministry rolls. And if you have a Junior High and Senior High Ministry, this is a great season for your eighth graders now entering ninth grade to be involved in the Senior High ministry. Not only is this an exciting time for students, but also parents and adult volunteers.
Taking a few moments of time today, I would love to connect about three essential pieces to think through during this exciting time in your ministry. If you're reading this and would like to watch or listen to this Article and Training, you can look below and click on one of the links.
Let's get started!
What experiences do you have in place for the season?
Some experience a "right of passage" experience. Do all of your incoming guys go fishing together, or do all of your ladies ride on a boat together? Or do your girls go hunting and your guys go to the beach? What gathering type of experience does your youth group have specifically for those moving into your ministry? And not just students, but also parents?
Don't overlook your existing students as well. Connect with them and create amazing experiences for them too. If your ministry runs Sunday School groups or classes, this could be a great time to have them do some type of gathering experience with their new leaders.
I'd encourage you to make this a big deal. In the life of the church, everyone seems to see the youth ministry throughout the year having a ton of fun. So when new students come into your ministry there is an expectation of fun awaiting them—what better way to kick this off with an experience.
Do you provide a gift?
Maybe something to memorialize their new season in the life of your church. Is it a devotion, a book, a Bible, a T-shirt, a backpack, a paper airplane making kit?
OK, maybe not the paper airplane making kit. But you get the idea.
I almost think about some sort of Welcome Kit to your youth ministry. Could you put a box together that has something for them?
Cast Vision for Them
What do you want and even expect from the students in your youth ministry? I'm not talking about when they can go to the restroom or answer their phone. I'm talking about the expectations when they leave your ministry, or even as they are in your ministry.
Are they equipped with the skills needed to face their next season of life out of your youth ministry? What are the things that they're going to be leaving with? The ability to unpack scripture in a systematic way, are they're going to be able to memorize scripture, are they going to be able to love the people of round them well. What are these things? Cast vision for them.
You do not need to do this only with teaching. But it could be done in so many ways. Within a video, within a plaque, within a handbook, the sky is the limit.
An example at the top of my mind is about my daughter's involvement in a leadership group that meets through the summer. In their first meeting, they talk about their leadership expectations these students must carry out and possess.
Cast some vision about not only what it means to be a part of your youth ministry but also what they're giving back to you as well.
A great book that the team here at YM360 read together during one of our book clubs is called the Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath. It's a great book talking about how to celebrate and memorialize moments.
Thank you so much for what you do in the lives of students and the life of your church. You are indeed in the trenches of youth ministry, and the team here at YM360 is dedicated to serving your ministry needs. Additionally, we are here to come alongside you in every season of ministry. If there's anything you need, somebody praying for you, a listening ear, great Bible study resources, ministry strategy ideas, Mexican food suggestions, and more, please let us know.
We are here to serve you!!
Let us know how YOU serve your students with Promotion Season in your ministry and church!