it’s strange how GOD answers prayer. for at least the past year and a half i have been praying, and wanting, and desiring to split our student ministry into a middle school and a high school group. we average 70 to 100 kids on wednesday night and it’s not the usual mix. instead of being about 55 to 60% middle school and 45 to 40% high school we are always more like 60% high school. each year we loose middle school students and gain high school students as the year goes on. it has been obvious to me that we are doing something right for high school students, but something that doesn’t connect as well for the middle schoolers.
but here’s the issues. our church has this butt kickingly large private school that uses ever other part of the church on wednesdays till 6:00 p.m. and we start our worship services at 6:00 p.m. so for the past year and a half i’ve been talking about the need to split our group but unable to figure out a place to have a second group. that was what was going on until yesterday. this week is our v.b.s. and the student center is being used by one of the groups. in the past i have taken down all the v.b.s. decorations and then put them up after we were through. i wanted to do something different this year so we moved to the stage that is in the new gym area. we closed the curtain on the stage and it became another room. in fact, it became a very cool room. it had a real “beatnic” feel to it. on the stage we had the following:
- directable par64 stage lights & colored floods.
- a projection screen that covered the entire back end of the stage.
- room for 70 to 80 chairs.
- drapes all over the place.
- a thick sound dampening curtain on the front end of the stage (which we used as the back of our room).
- a pace that is actually acoustically better than our present student center.
on top of now having a room that would be great for an additional service that room is located right next to a full gymnasium which gives us a great place to do some games and expend the energy that is coursing through the veins of our middle schoolers. it’s perfect for doing a separate middle school service. in fact, i got so excited about the whole thing that i have already asked our adult leadership to begin praying about the possibility of the whole thing and i’ve called 5 out of the 7 people that i will probably need to talk to in order to make it happen. after a few weeks of prayer if things still look good we’ll move to doing a test run sometime in august or september. we’ll try the whole thing out for 4 to 6 weeks and then get everyone together to see how it went. then we’ll either test the whole thing again, scrap it, or put it into action.
so here’s the plan as of now:
- pray and pray some more – prayer has led to this option (an option i thought was impossible a mere month ago) and prayer will lead to it’s answer.
- gather the leadership necessary for this to work and get them caught up in the vision of reaching our middle school students in a way that is new to us.
- gather the resources needed (sound system, video system, computer, game supplies, etc.) we have allot of this already.
- organize the whole thing – this service would need to run like clock work and have everyone involved in the leadership of it on the same page.
of course, i have some strong fears about this thing too:
- i fear the group growing. i know i’m supposed to want the group to grow but truthfully growth means that i don’t get to be involved in each kid’s life and i hate that. a wednesday night that becomes more attractive to our middle schoolers and really meets their needs probably means that we will draw more youth. this is a good thing but also means i head even more down the path of being an administrator. i don’t like that path.
- while two groups will eventual lead to two more connected groups it does initially mean that there will be a feeling of disconnectedness. we’ll go from being all together to being separate. a group that used to be one will become two. that’s got to feel weird.
- i’m scared of organizing this whole thing. because of the time crunch of using the stage everything at the beginning will have to be mapped out to perfection. there are allot of details that have to be mapped out and that scares me.
i guess that’s all for now. i’ll write more on the move to a middle school service if GOD leads and the whole thing develops.