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Middle Grades in Church

Discussion in 'Family and Parenting' started by BreathOfGod, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. Middle Grades in Church

    I wasn't sure where to post this topic, so if the parenting place is the wrong spot, then can someone move it to a more appropriate place?


    I wanted to know what other's peoples churches are doing with middle grade kids (6th, 7th, 8th) with regards to sunday school/ youth group, etc. ?

    This has been a big area of concern for me because my oldest is at/ near this age and I am not happy with how the church I am attending does things.

    My daughter is homeschooled and 1 grade ahead, so she was in the grade ahead in church as well, which I understand she is younger than her peers there. She is also small for her age, so people assume she is much younger. This year in church, they asked me to keep her back from moving up because the 6th graders go in with the youth group and she is too young for the youth group. I agree! She is certainly too young for the youth group. But I also think that 6th graders (age 11 at the start of 6th) are too young for the youth group where they will be in with others who are as old as 18. So, we held her back a year in church because of her age, but now I am stressing over next year as well. I had no clue that they were placing 11 year olds in youth group these days!

    Am I alone in this shock?

    The children's pastor and the Youth pastor at my church do not have any children of their own, so none of them have that type of experience with raising kids.

    I recall back when I was growing up, youth group began at age 13 and it was a big deal when you turned a certain age you could go into youth group, regardless of your grade. It was based more on age and not grade.

    Also, many years ago, I was teaching a Missionettes Stars group at a church, and the girls were up to 6th grade in that class (because they fell into that time frame where the program switched to Stars only going through 5th grade), and then at 7th grade the girls were sent into youth group..... well, when our girls all went into youth group at 7th grade, they didn't want to go at all. They were personally not ready for it nor for the topic being discussed or anything, so we opened up a "Friends" group in the Missionettes (which is for 6th - 8th grade girls). In a church of probably less than 100 members, we had 5-7 girls choosing to come to the Friends group over youth group (and only 3 of those had moved up from Stars). I don't know how common this is, but clearly there are many kids in this age group who do not feel ready to be thrust into a Youth Group setting with much older kids and topics.

    I can't imagine my daughter turning 11 this upcoming year and then being sent into a Youth Group setting with much older boys, and suddenly thrust into growing up too fast and facing topics that are of no concern to her yet.

    Is anyone else facing this problem in churches? What do your churches do with kids of this age? Are there programs in other places fr children of this age? I have been needlessly worrying about this for several weeks now.
     
  2. Yes, I understand. An 11 year old would feel awkward in the older teens group. and truthfully, I don't think the teens are comfortable with the younger ones. There should be a preteen group. Have you suggested it? :)
     
  3. I talked to the Children's pastor about it when he and I discussed her not moving up, and he just said how great the youth pastors are with the middle grades, and how wonderful they are with them, and that there are no problems. Maybe I should speak to the actual youth pastors about it. They are new on board as the actual "youth pastors" although they have been working with the youth previously. The youth group all sits together in church, and you can tell the difference between the younger ones who just moved up and older ones. The younger girls were sitting there with big bows in their hair and cute little dresses, talking quietly all through church, and the older girls sat there attentive, but in their stylish hair-do's, mature clothes, etc. There seems to be such a push for young kids to grow up early in our society. I wonder how long before the little girls stop wearing their bows and start dressing like their older counterparts that they are now in youth group with.
     
  4. I agree in keeping children as children as long as we can!
    Sometimes a letter helps too. Anything this important is worth pursuing til you get some results~
    My youngest is an 11 year old girl and I have teenage children in church too~I see the exact same problem here but we are searching out another church for many reasons~

     

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