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.
Join the Daily Dispatch!
If you're a kidmin content junky... submit your name and email and you will get the following:
• Daily updates from the blog
• Weekly blog summaries with exclusive content
• Access to amazing resources
ALL DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX!
We work with each volunteer individually on this. I have an amazing Grade 1 leader who has been uniquely gifted to work with that age group, so she stays there. Then the Grade 2-4 graduate with their classes. Some go one beyond that into grade 5 and 6, but most loop back in. Same thing with going on into the upper grade levels. At each transition, though, we make sure that there is some overlap of connection before the final transition.
Henry Zonios last blog post..Are You In or Are You Out? Part 2: Colouring In Between the Lines
Yeah, I’m anxious to experience this for myself. I’ve never been in a church where leaders promoted with their kids for more than a year or two and I’ve certainly never have been in a church where they promoted from one ministry to another. The idealist in me says “why wouldn’t the majority promote?” Again, maybe I’m being an idealist. I need to see this for myself and see if we can create a culture where the majority do.
Great post. We are currently encouraging our Children’s Ministry leaders to promote with their small groups. I believe the long term relationships built through this process will have amazing benefits for the children’s spiritual growth.
Keith Tusings last blog post..The 4 Câ€™s of Childrenâ€™s Ministry Leadership â€“ Part 2
the problem i see in this is that many of the leaders are parents. And if parents keep promoting with their kids then they are never letting their children develop. they are babying them all the way up. I would prefer to have leaders who stay even when their children move on.
I could count on one hand the number of parents who are leading a small group with their kid in it. Also, if a group has 8-15 kids in it, I think having one consistent leader for multiple years is significanlty more effective than those kids getting a new leader every year. On the rare occasion that you have a parent with a child in their group, then maybe that’s not ideal for that kid (depends on the parent though), but there are still 7-14 other kids in the group who it is idea for. I stand by promoting volunteers with their kids… it has the greatest impact.