Each spring the Dwell High School Ministry welcomes 8th graders into high school home churches. Normally they get to sample different home churches to find the one that's the right fit for them, but with COVID restrictions still in place, Dwell High School Administrator Brian Adams says they're doing things differently, assigning students to a home church that will likely be a good fit. Brian shares more with us more about the plan:
How is this working this year?
This year we are encouraging students to join their assigned home church. In a normal year, students would check out several groups and schedule several hang-outs with students and leaders from various groups over the course of April and May--lots of exposure to others! Due to the pandemic, we encourage incoming freshmen to join their assigned group.
However, not every assignment is perfect. We want every student to genuinely give their assigned home church a shot. If they don't like it, they can contact (Middle School Ministry Director) Quest Shannan and me and we will discuss the next steps.
What are the challenges?
It's hard to present the full picture of what God is doing in our ministry when we're so limited relationally due to COVID. Normally, students would walk into a room full of people and see everyone smiling, laughing, hugging, having fun--the love of the Body of Christ on full display. Now, things are different. We can still show that love, it just looks different these days due to restraints like mask-wearing and social distancing.
How do you see God working here? What excites you about what you see?
God has sustained this class of eighth-grade students through a pandemic and wants to use them to reach their friends for Christ. I am really excited to see what He does through these students. God has a penchant for working through young people. We have dozens of high school groups that are eager to get to know these students, invest in them, and help them win others to Christ.
What's your message to parents--how can they help? What do students need to be encouraged on?
Some students can feel afraid of checking out a new group with new people. Parents can help us by encouraging their child to check out their assigned group with an open mind. Sometimes students think they won't like their group, or won't like being in a different group from a certain friend, but then come to love their assigned high school group. Again, we're very flexible on the transition process, but we just want each student to check out their group with an open mind.
Please pray for these young people as they move into the high school ministry! If you have questions, you can reach Brian at email@example.com.