Eighth graders sometimes start to feel “too big for their britches” as the year winds down. Attendance will start to slip, other things will come up, and they’ll be out of Edge before you know it. Capitalize on the end of the year to let the teens have some control in the Edge Programming.
When an opportunity arises for a skit or performance, empower your eighth graders to perform! Sure – you’ll have to meet with them a little bit more – and they might goof off more than your Core Team – but when younger teens see their peers leading – they’re willing to enter more.
Choose one or two nights and let the eighth grader lead your gather – or lead the prayer in the send. Would it be too much to ask an eighth grader to give a portion of a proclaim? Not at all – watch your teens RISE to the occasion, proclaim the message, and help relate it back to the teens. We learn best by teaching others – so let your eighth graders teach!
Issue nights are great opportunities to help your eighth graders give their witness. This typically needs a lot of support. You’ll need to help them prepare to share a part of their testimony. When preparing:
- Open with Scripture
- Tell about a struggle
- Exclaim the Power of Christ
- Challenge your peers
- Close in Prayer
Most eighth graders – they’re ready and willing to get up and talk – so give them the microphone – and pray with them and for them. Give them praise for getting up in front of their peers. (Be sure to rehearse this with them –be sure they’re not simply expressing their sinfulness… the emphasis is on the POWER OF CHRIST – not the struggle… A good audience for this is your Core Te)
I like to pair 2 Core Members with 2 eighth graders during our spring socials. This is a time where the eighth graders can really ‘run the show.’ They plan and coordinate with their core team members and then the rest of the teens choose what games they want to go to. And – when they’re planning – they’ll bring their friends! They want their friends to see what’s going on! Let loose – and let the eighth graders have some control! You won’t regret it.
Challenge your Core team to use the eighth graders to positively impact your ministry. Not only will it make your life a lot easier, but it will keep your teens active and engaged! And – using eighth graders as leaders provides time for relational ministry as well! Good luck and let the eighth graders have some of the reigns!