Recently I was meeting with a guy that is starting his very first ministry very soon, and he is wondering what to do with budget, events, curriculum, planning, and everything. We have all been there at some point. We have all had that exciting feeling followed by that sinking feeling of, “I have no idea what I am doing!”
I really enjoyed the opportunity to sit down with him and discuss his plans and try to encourage him on how to get started.
The biggest thing he wanted to talk about what curriculum and lessons. He is going to a church where he will over see a team of volunteers who will do children’s ministry, and he will be doing mostly jr. high and sr. high ministry. He is very excited about this, but planning materials for both groups (jr. and sr. high will meet separately) can be very overwhelming.
I encouraged him especially as he is getting going to make sure he doesn’t neglect his junior high students. Many times it is easy for us (I have been there) to get comfortable hanging out with the high school students and spending time discipling them and then we unintentionally neglect our junior highers.
We have all seen or used a curriculum that was written for high school students and adapted it for junior high. I encouraged him to be careful with that because we tend to spend more time thinking about our high school students than our jr. high. I wanted to see him do this the other way.
If you can only afford one set of curriculum then focus on your jr. high students. Get what they will need (remember they will be your high schoolers very soon). Then the work with the high schoolers can spawn off of that. From experience at my own church I can tell you that spending focused time discipling jr high students will transform your high school youth group.
I guess what I wanted him to see is the best way to get your high schoolers to go deeper is spending time with your jr. highers. That is where you should start!