How Do You Say “Goodbye” To Your Kids?

It happens once a year.  All of our 5th graders move up to Student Ministry.  The Kids Ministry Staff and I have poured our heart and soul into each one of them for most of their lives, and then we send them on.

Promotion Day is a bittersweet moment for most Kidmin Leaders.  It is difficult to say, “Goodbye” to the children we love.  I have seen some Kids Pastors and leaders handle Promotion Day pretty poorly.  They turn it into a “cry fest” and begin to mourn the loss of those who are “moving up”, and the entire process becomes a sad event.

I once heard a Kidmin Leader tell his outgoing kids, “Don’t leave me!  You’re gonna be sad you’re not in Kids Ministry anymore.  You’re gonna miss me so much you will hate Student Ministry.”  I don’t think that Kidmin Leader realized just how insecure this made him look.  It was all about him.

We need to make the transition from Elementary Ministry into Student Ministry a positive and exciting experience for our kids.  This past Sunday, we said, “Goodbye” to almost 100 5th graders that were promoting.  We sent them out like missionaries to the mission field of Middle School.  We brought them to the front, lay hands on them, and prayed a commissioning prayer over them.

I told each of them, “I can’t wait to hear what incredible things for God you will do in Student Ministry!  Don’t wait until you are one of the oldest in the group to be an example.  Instead, from day one, be a leader in worship, prayer, energy, and passion for God!”  It was an incredible experience!

How about you?  How do you handle the “last service” for your graduating kids?  Is it a sad experience?  Or is it an incredible, moving experience that launches kids into Student Ministry?  Share your thoughts in the comments section.

5 thoughts on “How Do You Say “Goodbye” To Your Kids?

  1. We do the same as you, praying for them up front.
    We also begin transitioning them in May. The Middle School Pastor comes to visit them in their class. He also takes them over to visit the Middle School Service before Move Up Sunday.

  2. We have a BIG 5th Grade Promotion Party @ a ALL YOU CAN EAT PIZZA place on a Saturday. We invite the Middle School pastor & his leaders to join us so they can start building relationships with them. Then that Sunday they end up going to their NEW journey.

  3. We have a smaller ministry, about 40 in kids ministry, and about 30ish in youth ministry. We keep our kids through 6th grade, then “graduate” them up to Aftershock, the youth ministry. We make a big deal at our end-of-year kids ministry event and invite the 6th graders to stay through the youth group time, since we don’t meet simultaneously. We give them Youth Group shirts, invite the youth pastor to welcome them, and even invite them to be a part of our leadership team for VBS, which is usually beginning in a week or two. The youth group welcomes them well, and since we integrate a lot of youth in kids ministry, they are known and truly welcomed, not just tolerated. We have a good group who return to be leaders in kids ministry too; in fact we couldn’t do it without them! It works for us!

  4. Pingback: How Do You Say “Goodbye” To Your Kids? | Worship Leaders

  5. We just did something new this year we had an event called Moving On Up event and we invited our youth pastor and his wife and team to join is we went bowling, went out to eat the. Headed back to the church for s’mores & floats we then introduced them to the youth pastor and his wife they got to ask questions, and learn more about youth. I then shared with them about wanting them to serve as well. We prayed for them and gave them gifts as they left. It was a good time and our youth pastors wife was able to connect with the girls in the group and get their names.

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