How do you help break down dividers in the youth group?
I am the youth minister in a small church I have grades 6th-12th and about 15 students(if they all come:). This is the first year it seems that there are major dividers in the group as far as attitudes and ages. The HS students "don't like" the MS students and the MS students are intimidated by the HS students and the clique they have formed. In a perfect world, I would love to have both groups separate(as they want that too) but I am the only leader and I work full time outside of the church. Any thoughts on how I can encourage them all to see the value of each individual and learn to work with others they may not particularly share the same interests with?
- 2 Answers
I can 100% relate - I've been dealing with this recently. I've been implementing two things: 1. I encourage our HSers to "mentor" the MH. If we have an event where the students are doing something (ex: organizing a fundraiser or leading a fun activity) I pick out a few HS kids and specifically ask them to pick a MH kid help them. The idea caught quickly, and is working well. 2. I'm creating hype around being in HS. We will be having a HS only trip at the end of the summer, and there are a few other exciting HS only perks (missions, etc.) Together, it's allowing HS to break the "intimidation" boundary, forming relationships, and getting the younger students excited.
Also, do you have any volunteers or parents you can reach out to? For many reasons, you need someone helping you. You can burn out quickly, you need support, and it would be wise to have a male ldr/presence. I hope that helps!