Engaging More Students Through Switch

Switch is our youth ministry for 6th through 12th grade students designed to engage young people and help them grow. If you've used the Switch curriculum in the past or are just getting started, these four strategies will help you implement this semester's messages:

1. Increase attendance (and FOMO)

In other semesters, we've done month-long series in Switch that build on one topic. This year, we're doing stand-alone messages that rely on a combo of video and live elements that fit each week’s topic. While each month is tied together by a loose theme—like “the nature of God”—the individual messages won’t build on each other.

Download the Fall 2017 Series Guide here.

There’s a lot of variety in this season’s messages—in length, in topics, and in style—and it’s all designed to keep kids guessing, interested, and coming back. Youth pastors will have more opportunities to teach live this semester, too. We’re ratcheting up the relevance, quality, and relational elements of the messages because we want young people to want to see each new week.

The bottom line: if students aren’t at Switch, they can’t engage with their group or the content.

2. Create genuine connections faster

Since Switch revolves around small groups, the bulk of the development happens during group discussion. In the past, we’ve built in plenty of “get to know you” time—sometimes waiting months for a small group to get comfortable before broaching a serious topic.

This year, there’s no need to wait until mid-semester to go deep in your small groups. We’ll cover some heavy topics this year—divorce, gangs, drugs, alcohol, cutting, and suicide. Students will be encouraged to open up quickly in their small groups, and groups can be as vulnerable and transparent as the leader takes them from day one.

3. Keep young people engaged during the week

The few hours students are in church during the week isn’t enough to help them grow fully into their relationship with Christ. Starting this year, we’re equipping our campuses with even more social media graphics that continue to teach the content and encourage students to stay connected to God’s Word all week. And as long as you’re mindful of propriety and keeping kids safe, you can even set up ways to group-text your small groups throughout the week with Bible plans, verses, prayer requests, and more.

4. Equip leaders and parents

The hardest part of leading a Switch group can be managing the pressure of having all the right answers. To better equip both our volunteer leaders and parents, we’ll provide articles and tips on our leader site, The key here is to work with the small group leaders, local therapist, pastors, parents, and others so they feel prepared ahead of each week’s message.

We'd love to hear how your using Switch in your church and the great ideas for new ways to engage them in God's Word and with each other—leave comments below!
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