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Milestone: The Big Take-Away

Earlier I wrote the  Introduction about the issue at hand in our Children’s Ministry about what to do with our Kindergarten age children as they transition between learning styles.  I said that I thought there were 3 milestone questions to consider.  Read about  #1, “What does Kindergarten look like?”,  #2 “When do Children Start Reading?”, and #3 “When are Parents Comfortable Making the Change?”

The Big Take-Away:

What we’ve decided is that we might need to allow an option for parents to move their Kindergartners into a new area at the time that they feel it’s time.  I have to trust that parents know what their kids can handle, yet at the same time also seek the opinion of my Early Childhood leaders to determine which children may benefit from a different more mature environment of learning God’s truth.

Now that we’ve identified the milestones unique to each age child, and each family; it’s time to work on communicating it to our church family.  Letting them know that they are a valuable part of this decision, and that their input is highly desired.  It is all of our best intentions together that will make the most delicate of learners lovers of God’s truth!

OK, here is where I need our #kidmin community to spring into action. What are you doing to transition kids through these milestones?

If you’re not a Children’s Ministry leader, and find yourself to be a concerned parent then speak up.  We’d all love to hear how you think these things are best done. Do you like the optional format, or do you prefer being told where to go and when to go there?

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. Starr · March 4, 2010

    I like the idea of an option. Kindergarten kids seem to have a wide range of what they can handle. Some might be lost and scared in a large group environment, but I think most would do great.

  2. Sara Conley · March 4, 2010

    For whatever it’s worth, at our church, we’ve kind of “shaken up” the elementary experience. Kids are in fun group activities/games with their small group leaders at the drop off/welcoming time, when kids are most scared to enter the big group. Then they sit with their small group during the big group time, so they’re not the 5-year-old lone ranger lost in a huge crowd. This seems to work well, and helps parents, particularly of the little ones, feel more comfortable at drop off.

    Also, to help with the flow, the preschool/kindergarten classes do have “small group time” at the end of their big group time in their classrooms. Volunteers break out with smaller groups and ask them specific follow up questions from the lesson and have prayer request time. This is to help them be more familiar with the small group experience before they transition to elementary.