Archive for August 15th, 2008

Intentional Welcome

We’re doing something different this year in how we welcome the new 6th grade class into Impact.  In years past we have opened up Impact to new 6th graders after Kid’s Camp has finished.  At that time they would begin to attend whenever they chose to.  The flaw in that method was that we were not very intentional with how we welcomed the new students.  While we work hard to connect with each new student as they come to Impact, we did not do a good job at helping connect the new students into the whole group.

This year, on Wednesday, August 27th, we will be having what we are calling, “Push-Up Day” at Impact.  I have sent out letters to the parents of each of the 6th graders that this will be the first time that they will be welcome to attend Impact.  We also just sent out invitations to the students this week.  While this may seem cheesy or a gimmick, I chose to purchase a case of push-pops this year and mail one out along with the invitation to Impact to each of the new 6th graders.  The invitation just simply stated, “We are excited to have you join us at Impact on August 27th!  Please enjoy this push-pop in honor of your “push-up day” at Impact.

The push-pops may seem like a gimmick but I really want to make the new students feel like we want them at Impact.  Oftentimes as a new student at Impact it can be intimidating.  We have a large group of students and if you are the young one and don’t know who may be there it can be a scary place to be.  Push-pops may not remove all of their fear but our prayer is that it will help them know that we have them in mind.

Something else that we are doing this year is to have Big Brothers / Big Sisters for the new students.  Each of the new 6th graders will have a student leader from Impact that will meet them at the doors on August 27th and show them around the building.  These leaders will spend the whole evening with the new students, introducing them to their friends and helping them connect with others on their first night.  The cool thing about this approach is that each of our student leaders will be praying for the new student that they will host long before August 27th.  I believe this will increase the compassion and empathy that the student leaders will have for the new students.  Each of these student leaders can remember back to their first time at Impact, when they may not have known anyone, and desire to make this first impression of Impact a positive, welcoming experience.

I’m excited for this new class of 6th grade students that will be joining us this year.  We have a total of 26 new 6th grade students that we know of right now that will be connecting in a deeper relationship with God and entering into new relationships with other students at Impact.  When you think of it, please be in prayer for Push-Up Day at Impact.  This has the potential to begin many great relationships that will last for years and will serve to be a great support system and encouragement throughout their middle & high school years.