YOUTH MINISTRY Q&A: When should I split my students into separate junior high and high school ministries? Maybe we should just stay together?

Splitting up is common practice in youth ministry today – and in most cases, I would recommend it. It allows you the opportunity to challenge high school students and speak to specific needs of that age group.

Split as soon as you can. The when is based on your time, your health and your resources, but it’s not appropriate to have 11 year olds hanging out with 18 year olds. It’s healthier when there are separate Jr. High and High School environments and leaders. I would try to split when everything is in place, but obviously the sooner, they better. You can still do some events together, (like a praise and worship celebration) but now you’ve got a chance to make sure events are more age specific. It helps with the maturity of your younger students and keeps your older students around because they feel like they are being valued. I’ve seen it work other ways for sure, but genuinely feel this is best!

One final thought: if at all possible I’d also make sure you hold both of the services on the same night so that you don’t have leaders or parents out on multiple nights of the week.