this is the final set of notes from the ys middle school ministry summit took place at spring hill camp in evart, michigan, in mid-september. 45 paid junior high or middle school-only youth workers attended. these are the mostly unedited notes. remember, they’re notes on a dialogue of 45 voices, not a refined set of ideas…
SUNDAY MORNING PROGRAMMING
“Sunday school hour”
The group was almost 50% split on their Sunday AM program being the open door program versus traditional SS hour…most of the rest seem to do a combination w/ small groups in there somewhere.
The thrust of the question came from it being a SS hour “dead” program that has to be done…what do you do w/ it?
We discussed a variety of situations and programming for those in the group.
16 different churches represented and about 12 different situations/scenarios present.
Struggling to follow the church’s expectations w/in the parameters given from leadership…
Start by asking yourself these questions to begin with…
1. Who comes on Sunday morning?
2. Are you at least starting to hit them w/ your program?
Kids come to it honestly because of the relationships cultivated there…not the lights and show and games.
There was lots of discussion as each one explained their particular situation / programming schedule. Lots of good dialogue.
Determine what you want to do with the program…
Discussed small groups a lot and different formats/dynamics/etc.
Willow creek has “medium groups” – for the kids who are new – they go to the large group with their friend and then the newbie goes to medium group while friend goes to his group – next week they can adjust if need be.
For some in the group, traditional SS is all about going deeper in the Word – they keep it large group
one case study of struggle…
– from his leadership staff – they’d kill the program if they could
– they are churched kids, but apathetic and many in reality not in relationship w/ Christ
– traditional SS
– midweek – 45 minutes of programming – worship & experience – 15-20 minutes large group teaching – then into small groups – small groups set up by the large group talk
– on Sunday AM he tries to systematically teach the Bible – 6 week series – sounds expository of sorts
– the hard part for him w/ the SS hour is that many of his students don’t tie into the rest of the church or jr. high ministry
One of the biggest challenges in this stuff is for SS we need our adult leaders and yet when they come to volunteer w/ us they then are removed from being fed themselves from an adult SS class.
The questions was asked… if life change happens through relationships….then why do we do a program w/o enough leaders who give the relational touch? Ie. Sunday School when leaders are burnt out from hours of programming earlier in the week.
To make the most of your small groups – encourage your small group leaders to come to the open door program…or not…lots of discussion on that.
Encourage your leaders to under-commit…and then step up when you feel you can take on more.
Talked a lot about maximizing people’s strengths, specifically talking about leaders. Some in the group so relationally driven that they don’t want any staff for anything if they don’t care about building relationships w/ students. Some are totally stoked w/ having a bunch of leaders to put on a good big event so that the leaders can just come and love on students and not worry about details.