Friday, August 17, 2012

H.S. YOUTH: Welcome the newbees!

While sometimes we need to know when to let go or embrace new ideas, there's a reason we cling to traditions.  They're cool!  They can also create anticipation and help people feel more a part of things.  After confirmation the newbees will eagerly be awaiting what they know is coming (though they may not know when).

A lot of churches have asked me what to do about transitioning new comfirmands into their current youth group.  It seems that sometimes the old group is comfortable with each other and groups can become a bit polarized.  I say, if you don't have one, start a tradition.  Have a bunch of ideas ready and let the H.S. youth decide which one they like best.  More than likely they'll come up with a spin-off of their own, which is great because then there's self-generated ownership and enthusiasm.

Some tradition starting newbee assimilation ideas:
  • Kidnap the newbees for an unexpected lock-in that is all about "getting to know you" devotions, activities, and games. 
  • If there aren't many, the newbees may be kidnapped very early on a Saturday morning for a pajama breakfast and games at church (robes and slippers may be required).
  • Have a traditional trip to a camp for team building activities, a ropes course, etc.  Our district (MN So) has Camp Omega ( that has a beautiful new high ropes course that the kids would enjoy and with Bible study would help form new friendships/mentorships.
Of course, depending on when confirmation occurs in your church this could occur in the late summer or early fall.  Whatever you decide to do, don't forget that activities may be fun but it's nothing without Bible study and prayer!

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