Alright, I’m back.
In the last “installment” of this weeks purposeful refresher, I ended by saying I would share what I believe to be the two biggest concerns about combining the 6th through 12th graders. So here it is.
Two of the biggest concerns that I hear among parents, caregivers, and the youth themselves is that the middle school youth go through different issues than the senior high youth and the middle school youth will experience a difficult time in transitioning into the combined gathering.
I do agree with both of these statements in part.
Let me explain…
First, it is true that middle school youth do go through different issues than the high school youth. With this statement I do agree. However, I also disagree. Why? Because I believe that the issues facing both of the middle and high school youth do not in fact differ significantly. For example, our society confronts our youth at an early age with matters of sex and drugs. The only difference that exists between the ages is their level of exposure to these issues. So, the general handling of such topics should not cause one to worry. To handle these topics more age specifically, our group will begin to break-up into small groups more frequently on Wednesday evenings with the intent of having more appropriate age discussions on these matters when they arise.
Second, it has been said that the sixth graders will have a difficult time transitioning. This is observably true. A marked difference in maturation between the ages exist, but this should not cause us any undue concern.
In desiring our youth to mature into Christian adults, we must immerse them with other mature Christian adults so that they can see mature behavior modeled in others. This first year has been difficult for them, and I hate to see that being the case. Hopefully by the summer of this year we will have in place a program for parents, caregivers, and the youth to help them in transitioning from the children’s program to the youth program.
Hint: if anyone desires to serve in this capacity, or has any ideas or suggestions to provide, let me know, and I would love to put you in place to serve in this way and would love to hear what you have to say.
As we look back to the foundational reasons why we have made the changes that we have made, do be encouraged and refreshed. Things have been difficult in some areas, but in others they have been encouraging. So let us leverage off of those things that are positive, rather than negative, and press forward in the mission that the LORD has called us to.
Finally, ultimately be encouraged and refreshed in that we are both doing and moving towards furthering the LORD’s will on earth as it is in heaven.
I would love to hear your feedback from this post, as well as the previous two, so please, by all means, let me hear what you have to say.
By His grace and for His glory, Jesse Wisnewski