In our High School ministry we are wrestling through the idea that our calendar is not conducive to a high schooler’s ever evolving life. What we are beginning to notice is that when a new sport, job, or extra curricular activity starts we lose contact with them for a season. Usually they come back, but that too is not always the case. It is as if they grow out of church or just get used to a life without making church and their church family a part of it. In the past we have always broken our life groups up by 2 G’s. Grade and gender has worked well. It has come to a point that we are thinking about adding two more G’s and we are now working and praying through what that will look like in the coming months.
- Grade-The first two are pretty easy and standard. We have a 10th grade life group, and a 9th grade life group. The truth is that freshman are not going through the same things in life as seniors in high school.
- Gender-Guys and Girls are usually dealing with different things or at the very least need to process information a bit differently. There are also issues that are life group leaders need to address with a group of single gender students.
- Geography-Though most people think that Fresno is a small farming town, is has over half a million people in it. Add into it, Clovis and other outlying cities and you have 15-25 high schools. The reality is that one youth building in a city of this size is unrealistic. So we may be taking the above facts and adding in where someone lives to save on travel time and $4+ a gallon in gas.
- Gifts-This one seems the most exclusive, but there is wisdom in it. If you are a volleyball player then you have a different practice schedule than baseball. Your seasons are also different. This means that from Feb-May we will not see anyone who is playing volleyball because all games and practices are on Wed nights. There is some wisdom in rasing up leaders who can go where the kids are. Be in and among them. Attend their games, support them, and be their biggest fan.
As our group has grown, it has made it less fluid and mobile. Difficult to care for the needs of the individual while thinking of the whole group at the same time. My hope and prayer in this coming season and with these changes, it will allow for us to reach out to the students that God brings to us, taking care of the large group, but still making sure that the student is loved, cared for, and not left behind.