You’re a small group leader leading the oldest kids in your ministry.

Whether it’s 5th or 6th grade, your few are headed toward a transition when the new school year begins. And you have the chance to help them.

As an SGL, we challenge you to embrace the value Move Them Out. Why? Because transitions are a reality of life. And now is a great time to help your few learn how to navigate this one with success.

In my community, a 5th graders’ transition to 6th grade isn’t just a change in grade. For our school system, it’s a change in schools. For our church, it’s a change in ministries.

It’s the year our new 6th graders exit Children’s Ministry and enter Student Ministry.

In fact, for 6 months of their life, change becomes the operative term. And though change can be fun, it can also be scary. But you can help make that better.

There are 3 things you can do over the next few months as you lead your few toward this transition. Three actions to help them land on their feet in Student Ministry and prevent them from falling through the cracks.

Action #1: Look Ahead
Find out more about where they are going. What can your 5th graders expect when they transition to 6th grade? Are there events they should have on their calendar? Transition dates or Parent Meetings they should have on their radar?

What can you learn about your student ministry so you can shape their expectations for where they are headed? If you know what the next year might look like you can lead your few (and their parents) toward that transition successfully.

Action #2: Build a Bridge
Consider who will walk with them through their transition. Is there a Student Leader you can invite to co-lead your group for a few months so they can get to know the kids? Or can they visit your group a few times to share about what to expect and how to prepare?

A lot can change in the life of a student as they navigate this transition. But our goal as SGLs is to create a connection so the transition is a springboard and not an exit door.

Action #3: Stay the Course
Though the transition ahead is saturated in change, there is one thing that will remain the same. Small Group.

Your few will transition from your Small Group to another. And in that Small Group they’ll have opportunity to encounter God’s Truth, explore how it’s personal to them and talk about how they can walk it out in their life.

That makes this week’s small group pretty important. It’s one more hour you have to invest in teaching your few what it looks like to encourage each other, challenge each other and love each other.

Whether they verbalize it or not, every kid in your group is asking the same question.

“What’s Next?”

Consider how you can Look Ahead, Build a Bridge and Stay the Course in the coming months as you intentionally invest in your few to Move Them Out.

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Gina is the Children’s Pastor at Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. Gina is driven by the idea of equipping, encouraging & empowering parents for the journey of teaching their kids to love and be loved by Jesus. Based upon her experience as a mom, she identifies with the everyday challenges of parenting. Gina and her husband, Kyle, have three kids, Keegan, Josie and Connor.

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