“Slipping through the cracks” is a clichÃ© term used for many things, but unfortunately it’s all too familiar in our churches. Mostly it’s come to define what happens to many kids as they transition out of high school youth ministry.
Ministries intentionally reaching college-age people cannot solve the entire issue, but the lack of them certainly contributes to the drop-off during this transition. Most churches have yet to embrace a ministry specifically to this life stage, leaving them without guidance and often feeling unwanted and detached. They don’t fit in our traditional ideas of student ministry anymore, and they certainly don’t feel like adults.
Means vs. End
The evaluation of whether or not a high school ministry is successful must include how it helps students transition into adulthood. Without embracing this idea, we hinder the growth and maturity of our young people.
Once our kids graduate from high school ministries, many disconnect. Yet our actions scream, “We don’t care about you anymore! You don’t belong in our church! You’re not important enough for us to address your life stage issues!” Of course we would never say that and our heart certainly doesn’t feel that way, but our actions seem to be speaking louder than either.
Is the point of our high school ministry to get students to come, or is it a small part of the life long discipleship process of individuals? Is our high school ministry the end, or is it a means to a greater end? For both questions I hope…[read more]