In Mars Hill Students, we are constantly evaluating and changing what we do, so that we may best equip our students to live the best kind of life now and in the future. Eight years ago, we set out on an exploration of what it would look like for our 5th and 6th grade ministry to connect more closely with our 7th and 8th grade ministry and grow as a communal Middle School ministry. Over the years, we learned that while that opens up some great opportunities—there’s a vast developmental difference between 5th graders and 8th graders. In fact, we’ve found that there is even quite a difference between 5th and 6th graders. So as we explored how we can teach the way of Jesus in ways that are most developmentally appropriate for each age group, it became apparent that a new division would best serve all age groups.
That’s why, this fall, we will be expanding our Elementary programs to include 5th grade, and transitioning away from a 3-part Students ministry to a Middle School [6th, 7th, and 8th] and a High School [9th-12th] program.
We believe that these new opportunities will provide for an easier transition into both the Shed and evening experiences and want to encourage you that these decisions were not made lightly. It is only after prayer, discussion, revisiting, [and still more prayer] that we bring this to you, confident in our hearts, that this is indeed what is best for our students, families, and volunteers.
For more information on these program shifts, we encourage you to review our Frequently Asked Questions, and please don’t hesitate to contact us at 616.249.3337 with any questions you may have.