Our large group experience includes children from Kindergarten through 5th Grade. Wow that’s a BIG gap! It’s a gap that we are working toward changing soon by creating a unique ministry for our 5th & 6th graders…but that’s a blog for another day. So how do you engage a group that is that diverse in age? We know who were aiming for and it drives our programming decisions.
We recognize that our primary target is the 5th grade boy. If we can capture his attention and keep him engaged it’s a win for everyone in the room. Younger students will be attracted to what interests the older students and engage fully if the older kids do.
So what are some specific ways we focus our program to appeal to our 5th Grade boys?
Choose Games that are Fun & Challenging for the Older Kids
Recruit Older Boys to be a part of the Worship/Dance Team – they make it cool to sing and dance
Choose video clips that 5th & 6th Grade Kids will think are Cool
Graphics and Video Clips should include kids that are Upper Elementary
Select music that is going be appealing to the Oldest Kids in the Group
Incorporate Older Kids into positions of service
Make sure our AV & Tech are on par with what they experience every day
So am I saying that the little guys don’t matter? Of course not! However, if your target age is too low I guarantee you will lose the attention of you older students. We use a small group – large group – small group format. The small group time gives our younger students a more age focused experience and allows them an opportunity to ask questions about anything they did not understand in large group. As I stated earlier our goal is to narrow the gap and when we do we’ll still be targeting the oldest boy in the room. Let me know some of the ways you’ve had success with large age gaps.