Like its high school counterpart, the purpose of WyldLife Campaigners is to help kids grow in their faith. Middle school kids are just beginning to move from concrete to abstract thinking, so Campaigners is a great setting to help them learn to process their thoughts about faith with leaders they trust.
How do we start Campaigners?
If you’re taking kids to a WyldLife weekend this spring or to camp this summer, transform your cabin time into a Campaigners group when you get home. It is important that WyldLife Campaigners be grouped by gender and age whenever possible. Girls and guys are less likely to share in front of each other, as are sixth graders with eighth graders.
When starting Campaigners with a new group of kids, spend the fall semester doing contact work with kids and parents. Then launch Campaigners for those groups in the spring. As with most things WyldLife, good relationships with parents are key. Do parents know you well enough to allow their kids to attend a small group with you?
Who can lead it?
Traditional adult and college leaders, parents, and well-trained high school students can make excellent Campaigners leaders.
When should we meet?
Campaigners looks different across the country. Many groups meet every other week, alternating with club. Because kids are dependent on parents to drive them to club and Campaigners, this schedule serves parents well. For the same reason, Campaigners held at the end of club is another good option. Many areas set up a “cabin time” at the end of every club to allow leaders and kids to talk about what they’ve just heard.
Other areas meet weekly for Campaigners. Whatever schedule you choose, remember to communicate the details with parents.
What do we talk about?
Ask the club speaker to prepare questions that can be used after club or in Campaigners later that week. Since WyldLife club talks are short, it allows kids to walk through the Scripture in more detail.
Other resources for planning Campaigners lessons include the WyldLife One Campaigner Focus (found on staff and volunteer resource website) and Wyld Questions. Youth Specialties and Group Publishing also have resources for youth groups that can be easily adapted for WyldLife Campaigners.
What should we expect?
If you expect a 30-minute in-depth Bible study, you will be disappointed. Instead, be prepared to spend time laughing, playing, wrestling, eating, making crafts… and 10-15 minutes talking about Scripture. It may not seem like much, but it will meet the needs of middle school kids.
Whether you’re hoping to launch Campaigners in your area or improve an already established Campaigners, you can contact your regional WyldLife representative for more ideas.
Written by Julie Clapp, national director for WyldLife.