Changes to Student Ministries Sundays for Fall 2016-FAQ
What is changing for junior high students?
Middle school students will add another Sunday school class for grades 7 and 8 that will meet at the 10:30 hour. Both middle school classes will begin in the main worship services and students will be dismissed within the first twenty minutes to room 16.
What is changing for high school students?
The 8:45 high school class will join the worship service on communion Sundays and special celebration Sundays. A student ministries hub will be established on the patio for students to gather, access information, and connect with staff and each other. Students will be highly encouraged to sit with each other while in the 8:45 worship service and with student ministries volunteers and staff. An 845 high school program will continue to meet other weeks.
6-8 new small groups will launch during the 1030 hour within walking distance of church. These staff and volunteer led groups will all begin at the Student Ministries Hub and will walk together to meeting locations. Each small group will meet weekly and follow the same schedule as the adult small groups.
When will this change happen?
Why do we need change?
Worship is important. Growing together is important. This year we have the opportunity to increase student participation in corporate worship and adult participation in student small groups by providing fun and safe spaces where students can encounter Jesus. By shifting from a single 845 hour class format we open up opportunities for adults to invest in the lives of students and for students to experience corporate worship including singing, praying, leading, baptisms, and communion. Students will also have increased opportunity in their increasingly hurried lives to build community together during the 1030 hour.
What if my student does not want to go to "big church"?
Let's be honest, we all have had seasons of not wanting to go to church. Middle and high school can be one of the most challenging times to push a student into participation in "mom and dad's church". As adolescents are differentiating they may push back against anything mom and dad desire for them. If your kid is a middle school kid then they will be able to have "their time" after the dismissal. If you have a high school student the student ministries staff, volunteers, and students will be gathering together to help welcome and encourage your student to join us. Our worship leadership team is committed to make our worship services accessible to our students incorporating student leadership and designing spaces of worship that are for everyone. Please know that you are not alone in getting your students to church.
So where does my middle school kid go on a Sunday morning?
Middle school students will begin in the worship service and then will be dismissed to room 16 (underneath Debin hall). They will be released to the patio when the service is over.
What about my high school student, where should they go?
At 845 your high school student can either sit with you in worship or they can meet up in the student section of the sanctuary on communion Sundays (The first Sunday of the month). If you want to make sure they connect, go to the student ministries Hub on the patio before the start of the service. All other weeks they will meet underneath Debin hall in room 13.
At 1030 your student should meet at the Student Ministries Hub on the patio to find their small group. If your student has never gone to a small group they will be assigned a small group. Some of these groups will meet on our campus but some will meet at local coffee shops within walking distance (starbucks, panera). Your student will be back by the end of the service.
What if my student wants to go to both the 845 service and a small group?
Then they should be disciplined for going to church too much-just kidding. We are actually hoping that many students will chose to go to worship during the 845 hour and engage in a small group during the 1030 hour. I would suggest attending service during one hour and finding something meaningful to do during the second hour (volunteer with children's ministries, be a greeter for another service, take a casual walk, take up photography or interpretive dance, seriously your options are endless).
Won't my high school student be sad that they do not have a high school class at 845 once a month?
Yes-they will be bummed that they do not have that option if they are used to it. Nobody likes change, especially those that just made it through middle school and still remember it. Thankfully, your student will now have an option to go deeper into community and belonging through a small group at the 1030 hour. Eventually, I believe, students will learn to love worshiping alongside their friends at 845.
Will new students be lost or forgotten on Sunday morning?
Any new student will be invited to be a part of all things student ministries at the Student Ministries Hub on the patio. Students at the 845 will be invited to sit with other students and leaders. At the 1030 every high school small group will be expected to welcome new people. There will be no closed small groups during the 1030 hour. New students will have the chance to meet leaders, learn about upcoming events, and be invited into greater community on the patio.
Is this the plan forever and ever Amen?
Our church highly values 1) Age specific programming 2) Supporting Parents 3) Engaging with the larger congregation 4) Students connecting with adults. These values will remain and programming will shift to best reflect these values.