When to add the 6th graders into your 7th-8th grade ministry

Our student ministry does 7th-8th grade and 9th-12th grade ministry separately.  Our middle school ministry is on Wednesday nights and our high school ministry is on Sunday nights.  Last year I wrestled with when to let 6th graders start coming, and in that wrestling process we tried something new.  We let 6th graders start coming about three weeks before school was out.

The main reason for this is because, we have a great middle school principal that lets me come hang out at lunch every Wednesday.  So every Wednesday I go hang out with the 7th graders at their lunch, the 8th graders at their lunch, and would stay for the 6th grade lunch.  What we realized was that by letting them come before the school year was over, I would be able to remind them  at school that they were now able to come. 

Another reason for this, is that our attendance dramatically drops during the summer.  So by letting the 6th graders come our attendance gets a boost.  While this might sound superficial, middle schoolers want to go to places where there are a lot of middle schoolers.  So if we only have five students show up for three weeks in a row, soon it will be two students. 

So this is how we do it, how do you do it?

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