Sixth grade can be a challenging time. Students change schools — going from the top dogs of their elementary schools to the measly new kids on the block at Middle School. Along with this, emotions and hormones start to take over and our preteens often lose a good deal of control over their decisions and sanity! Should we really add the stress of a major change to their experience at church? At Central Baptist, we’ve decided that the best answer to this is to help them transition to the next phase of church life slowly and intentionally. And we do this through a unique program we’ve entitled “Quest.”
Quest is an intentional year of transition for our sixth grade students that sets out to help them get comfortable with the youth department, while also getting comfortable with their own faith. A couple of things go into this process. First, sixth grade students are invited to participate in every Middle School event that we host at the church, but if it is a joint event between Middle School and High School, sixth graders don’t participate. This means that our sixth grade students come to things like the Middle School Retreat, Middle School pool parties, Middle School fun events, etc. But it also means that they attend CentriKid in the summer, sit out an extra year before attending In-House, and most importantly, have their own class on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights.
After breakfast and hangout time at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings, our sixth graders go to their class to begin their lesson. Each week, our students work through a different lesson in the “re:form” series that deals with a basic belief or question in the Christian faith. These lessons always generate great conversations among the students, and you have the opportunity to engage them in these lessons at home with the materials that are sent to you each week. Conversation also continues later in the week at LIFE on Wednesday night. From 7:15-8:00 p.m., our sixth grade students work with our Quest leaders to engage the questions again, and to do fun activities to spur conversation and drive home the lesson being taught. Occasionally, students will also have the opportunity to visit different churches to see how their expressions of faith are different and similar to our own. Altogether, the goal of this program is to help our students develop a foundation of belief and practice that is unique to them and well understood before they get to the youth program. We believe that this will help them embrace the teen years well, and create a strong foundation of faith on which to stand as they journey through our youth program. We look forward to seeing your sixth grader and Quest soon! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email our Youth Pastor, Josh Beeler, at firstname.lastname@example.org.