Thomas McDonald

Thomas McDonald

Youth Pastor Melbourne City

Transitioning from Neuma Kids to Neuma Youth has many facets attached to it. We’ve touched on transitional seasons in general and what Neuma Youth looks like. Another is how Sundays will look different for everyone now. 

Almost all Neuma Youth specific events run on Friday nights. This doesn’t mean nothing happens for youth on a Sunday, simply that the way they engage with it might differ from simply attending a youth event.  

At the age they are, transitioning into a normal Sunday service is the best thing for them to continue growing in God. This is the time for them to integrate into the wider church and glean from the multi-generational wisdom found at Neuma. This does, however, take time for them to adapt to and become comfortable.  

The best thing to do is talk about the differences and why they are no longer in Neuma Kids. This is best done pre-service and post-service. 

Pre-service can be like a sort of briefing. Explaining what will happen and why it happens. This puts them at ease knowing what to expect. 

Post-service is the chance to debrief. Ask them what their favourite part was or what they found boring and why. Make everything a discussion. Use this as an opportunity to consolidate the sermon topic or to simply discuss how they felt in worship.  

This discussion should naturally lead to how they can get involved. Serving in the life of the church is for everyone. Ask them if they’d like to serve in any particular team. Don’t worry about their knowledge and skills but rather find out where they feel passion. I was 12yrs old when I joined my church production team, without any prior training or skill. This then led to ten years serving in production teams and even getting multiple paid jobs from the skills I learned at church. There’s so many teams they can get into; not just the visible ones on stage.  

Involvement looks like receiving prayer and participating in all the elements of the service. When altars are opened, ask them if they’d like prayer for anything and perhaps come to the altar with them. This shows how they can actively engage. 

For teens to take full ownership of their relationship with God, some freedom does need to be given. One of the ways this can work is for them to sit with their friends during the service. Many of our locations have youth sections, if you’re unsure where it is just look for all the young people! After all of this transition, the best outcome is for them to have ownership over their relationship with God. 

I pray you found this helpful. Communication is the big key while remembering that everything in a Sunday service is potentially new or unfamiliar.