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Milestone Transitions

It’s that time of year in our Children’s Ministry when I start to deliberately look at moving our restless Kindergartners to a more mature Elementary environment.  We’ve worked for a few years to make the environments similar in style and substance, but different only in how we teach the content.  In our Early Childhood areas there is a much higher teacher to child ratio (not as high as I’d like!), and we know that kids learn better in a smaller environment.  However, as a kid matures they fit better in large group environments due to better behavior.  That isn’t to say that large group environments are always best for the kid, because we do a small group ministry to these older kids as well.  I’ll save that discussion for another blog post!

Back to the matter at hand: there has been discussion over the years about moving Kindergartners to the Elementary environment earlier, or maybe delaying their graduation to the Elementary areas until 2nd grade and creating a special K & 1st grade learning space.  I personally love this idea, but facility limits as well as a lack of volunteers currently leave this as just an idea at the moment.  Theories abound on what may or not be best, but what we really need to look into are the natural milestones that happen in the life of the  Kindergartner  learners at our church.  For this transition there are 3 milestone questions to consider.  Over the next few posts, I will lay out the three questions I’ve had to tackle as I look for what will be best for these delicate 5 and 6 year old learners of God’s Word.

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. Jeff Hawkins · March 1, 2010

    It’s funny that you would post this, because we are on the verge of creating a separate environment for k-1 grade, and I’m so excited, because honestly, in some ways, it’s a nightmare trying to keep those really young kids involved with the 2-5 graders

    • jonathan · March 1, 2010

      Jeff- This IS funny. I’d love to hear more about how you’re doing that, and what the response from your parents has been.