I’ve always been intrigued by this idea. At the end of every year we promote kids to their next grade. Why don’t we promote the leaders too? Sure, some do but why isn’t it the norm or expectation?

I was talking to my good friend (and permanent intern) Josh Kornberg about this last night. He’s an elementary major in college and he said that this is a newer strategy in education. It’s called looping. I have a lot of friends who are teachers and they often complain about the start of a new year as they have to begin again with a new class and start from page one.

The real beauty is when early childhood leaders promote to elementary to follow their group of kids or even when elementary leaders promote to middle school. We’re trying to create this culture here at Gateway. We may see a few leaders make the jump this year, but I anticipate this becoming normal for next year.

I was having a conversation with a friend in ministry and talking about this very thing. He explained that he really didn’t like middle school, so he’d probably move back down to first grade or something when his group moved to middles chool. I challenged his thinking? “What is it you don’t like about middle school? What if the same kids you’ve been leading for three years moved up into middle school. You’d still like them, wouldn’t you?” He replied, “I didn’t see it that way.”

Some people really aren’t geared for some age groups. There are some middle school and high school leaders that wouldn’t belong in early childhood. Likewise, there are plenty of early childhood leaders that don’t belong in highschool. However, when the established relationship is prioritized, everything changes.