Our 4th and 5th grade ministry has been undergoing some changes as of late. Early this summer the one who headed it up for the last several years passed the reigns over to the one who had been running the younger ages for some time. His own duties now encompass the entire children’s and student ministries, as well as co-running the church camp. Anyway, things for the last few months have been running pretty much as before with a few new policies thrown in- things like changing the reward system (for memorizing verses, doing devotions, etc) and having us interact more with the parents.
Well, transition period is over and things are a-changing. A few weeks ago someone who had been with us a few years ago came back and has been placed in a position organizing the 4th/5th grade ministry as a part of his studies at Moody Bible Institute, and he is full of ideas. He has made a few changes already and probably the biggest one this weekend is that we are now to call the children who are in our small groups weekly. We took down their phone numbers and I have a list of about six or seven who I will need to call this week. Next week some of them will go with one of the new leaders who has sat in the last couple of weeks and will be ready to lead some of the kids next week on his own and so he will become responsible for calling them. I hope we get more 5th graders next week though as they were pretty much outnumbered by the 4th graders and I would like to have a larger group than three or four after we split. Unfortunately at least one of them usually attends at a different service so I will lose him for sure. Oh, another change was to go back to splitting groups by grade as we have been just splitting by gender for the last year. I will be first to admit that we have been getting lax over the years so changes are refreshing and will hopefully benefit the students.
The biggest change however has nothing to do with the staffing changes. While this weekend we started with phone lists, we also started in a different room. The room we are in now was at one time exclusively for junior high school, and on Sat night/Sun morning since junior high didn’t meet (they meet Sunday nights) it was used as a live video feed for those who for some reason weren’t in the regular worship center (parents with crying children who took their children out of the worship center for example). However, they redid the area in front of the church and that has become the new live video area. So now we are back in the junior high room. Wait, did I say back? Yes, when we started the ministry, breaking it off from the rest of the grade school ministry, it met in this very same room. I’m not sure why, but at some point they moved us to a different room (maybe this was the start of live video feed?) and we finally ended up in the school library after that wing was remodeled and second floor added. Now that we’ve outgrown that room we’re back in the original room, only now it is better than before. We have a full sound and video system including microphones if we need it, we have games like foosball, carpetball, and air hockey that the kids can play before the service starts and while waiting to be picked up, and the room just looks nicer than it did nine years ago. Yes, I have been doing it for that long. Who knows, maybe my calling might be to leave this church and organize a similar ministry at a smaller church? Or maybe just stay here for another nine years.