The phase, or the time in a kid’s life that we influence significant relationships, understand present realities, and leverage distinctive opportunities, flow in a continuum that requires all kid and student ministry workers to have a basic knowledge how one impacts the other. The four phases that allow us to embrace, engage, affirm, and mobilize a kid from birth into adulthood do not stand alone. One phase directly affects another and the needs of one phase never completely dissipates. They are interconnected in a way that everyone needs to understand. So then, how do you get the nursery rockers who really love embracing and taking in the joys of a three-month-old infant to understand and value the need to mobilize high schoolers to a bigger mission that extends beyond themselves? How do we get ministry volunteers to value each phase and see themselves as one team rather than individual components?
If you haven’t instituted a pre-service huddle this is a great time to do so. A pre-service huddle takes about 10 to 15 minutes before service and is an opportunity to relay vision, give out information, and celebrate and pray for your team and the families you will be serving that day. (Thus why I affectionately call this time V.I.P: vision, information, prayer). Using this time to capitalize on the importance and distinctive nature of each phase is a great way for everyone to hear why everyone else matters. Scheduling a potential phase moment on a regular rotation allows volunteers to remember that kid and student ministry is a team effort that their phase gets to impact and influence knowing that the next is just as important. Orange provides great tools to provide these short trainings at http://www.justaphase.com to share with your team.
Phase separate trainings are important and needed throughout the year but it is also important to take time to bring everyone together for larger trainings and vision casting. We know that successfully moving students from elementary to middle school ministry and then again from middle school to high school ministry is directly impacted by how well the strategies, staff, and volunteers are interconnected. When adults are interconnected it is easier for kids and students to feel connected and not get lost through critical moments of transition; we better connect our kids and students to what is coming next.
We know that we need to engage kids in the story of the gospel in fifth grade. As they transition to middle school, the elementary leader needs to be informed about what is coming next so that they can inform the child and their parent that the child is moving to a ministry that will affirm them as middle school life happens in the next few years. Playing and learning together, across the phases, solidifies better opportunities for those connections to happen.
Hosting a phase event once per year for volunteers and parents is a great way to value the current phase of every kid and student in your ministry, remind parents that phases change quickly so value the one their child is in now, and cast the importance to parents and volunteers about capitalizing on the phase that is coming next. A phase event pulls on the heart strings of the past, encourages through difficult moments of the present, and gives guidance for the future that is just around the corner. And it’s not even something you have to create by yourself. The Phase Project has awesome tools to make this a night of celebration and learning.
The health of the current phase is directly impacted by the health of the phases before and after it. It is easier to have a healthy adult when they had the chance to be a healthy infant, toddler, kid, and student. Pulling our teams together to understand the impact of one phase on another is essential to establishing an aligned ministry that knows that every phase is important, but especially the phase that the child or student is in right now.It is easier to have a healthy adult when they had the chance to be a healthy infant, toddler, kid, and student. Click To Tweet
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