How can it be almost Spring? Perhaps because the area I live in has had a much longer, colder winter than usual (2 snow events and many below freezing days… I know for those in the northeast and Midwest that doesn’t seem like much!), it seems like the calendar has suddenly fast forwarded. This brings me to a tough, but very necessary part of leading my few – preparing to move them out.
Since August, I’ve spent time getting to know my few: what makes them laugh and cry, listening to their stories, seeing them grow both physically and emotionally. Some have literally grown 2 inches, some have already lost a first tooth. It’s been a joy watching them develop from little ones who didn’t understand helping or taking turns or sharing, into helpers who pass out supplies, help others in our circle who were struggling with an activity, sharing crayons, and trying really hard to not talk when someone else was telling their story. I know some of their family stories – who is going to welcome a new baby soon and who said goodbye to beloved family members (including pets!) over this past year. As much as this has been an amazing time, I would do a great disservice to my few if I didn’t start preparing them to move out.
What does moving them out look like? In my church, for my few, this will mean moving into elementary ministry – being with older kids, a larger environment, even a different building! Over the next few weeks and months, our conversations need to include what this will look like, talking about not being the biggest kids in the large group room, what their new environment will look like, and who their new leaders will be. We’ll probably take a field trip as promotion day approaches to see in person where they’ll be, and to meet in person their new leaders. Most of my few will be really excited (you can sense they are ready to move on) although some will be hesitant and not ready to leave where they are comfortable. I can relate to that! I’m an adult who doesn’t like too much change! But my biggest responsibility as I lead small is to get them ready for the changes ahead, to let them know I’ll always be there for them, and launch them to the next person who will be ready to make my few their few.
What are ways you’ve helped your few move on? How have you moved them out?