5th and 6th graders want to be understood. They aren’t teenagers yet but aren’t children either. It’s important for them to have good role models and leaders who love them in the phase they are in right now.
Mix 56 is a unique environment intentionally designed to honor our 5th and 6th graders’ evolving sense of style and fun while giving them room to still enjoy the best parts of being a kid.
Our gathering looks a lot like a Mosaic Students gathering—but even more fun (at least we like to think so). Every Sunday morning gets kicked off with a random Youtube video before we jump into an open hangout time with a minute-to-win-it game followed by ping-pong, foosball, and more. Next, we step into worship led by some of our own high schoolers from the student ministry. Our kids get hyped, but many also experience moments of solitude and intimacy with God during this time. After two or three songs, we dive into the teaching. Our team of young adult communicators take a month’s worth of curriculum and make it their own, contextualizing it for where the kids are at this stage. Finally, we break into small groups where the leaders guide deeper conversations that center around questions and life application.
We know that the shift from middle to high school can be rough. And so, we want 7th graders to feel welcomed at Mosaic Students from the start. Every year, our Mix Coordinator and the Mosaic Students team collaborate on the best way to transition the rising 7th graders, planning parent information meetings (where our Mix parents can meet the Mosaic Students leaders) and Mosaic Student summer events that will be the incoming 7th graders’ first experience of Wednesday nights.
The psalmist wrote, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it” (NIrV). God is the author of creation and God has entrusted us to care for and cultivate it. We do that by taking responsibility. From the work we need to accomplish to people we meet to the words we use; life is filled with moments where we can decide to reflect God’s character, take responsibility, and use what we have wisely. When we follow through and do what needs to be done, we can point others to Jesus, the One who took the ultimate responsibility for us and made it possible for us to be with God forever.
Key Question: What are some of the things you’re expected to do? Even kids and preteens have responsibilities. As they start to name them, they’ll start to realize that those expectations aren’t there to frustrate them. Each of us has things we need to do—including our responsibility to love. We pray that kids will take Jesus’ words to heart as they discover how to show God’s love to others.
We kick off the New Year in Matthew 22:36-40. The religious leaders were always trying to trap Jesus with his own words. This moment was no different. They asked Jesus, out of hundreds of laws they were to follow, which were the most important. Jesus simplified everything and made love the top priority. The most important responsibility is to love God and love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Bottom Line: Love God. Love others. These are four simple words, but they are not always simple to put into practice. We hope that, as kids discover more about responsibility, they start to understand the ways they can love God and love the people God has put in their lives.
Key Question: What do you have that you can share? From an early age, most kids are taught to share. As they get older though, the stakes get higher and it can take more effort. As we ask this question, we pray that preteens will see that they can share more than their stuff. They can share their time, their friendship, and their talents.
In week two, we head to Luke 12:13-21 where we find a parable Jesus told about a rich man who was focused on the wrong thing. As a successful farmer, his land produced a large number of crops. He decided to build bigger and bigger barns to collect it all. He might have had a lot for himself, but he failed to think about how he could have helped the people around him.
Bottom Line: Share what you have. Sometimes we are on the receiving end of someone’s generosity, but other times we get to show responsibility by sharing and being generous to others. When we realize that God has given us everything we have, we’re more likely to share with others. We pray that as kids learn more about the parable of the rich man, they’ll discover ways they can be responsible with how they share what they have.
Key Question: When have you had to work hard? When it comes to hard work, kids tend to want to avoid it at all costs. However, when they remember how God has helped them work hard in the past, it can encourage them to work hard with whatever they’re facing now.
For week three, we take a closer look at Proverbs 6:6-8. “Think about the ant! Consider its ways and be wise!” (NIrV). God created ants to take responsibility and work hard storing up for the winter months. We can look to them as an example, as we take responsibility and work hard.
Bottom Line: Work hard. God has created us to work, yet often we try to do whatever we can to avoid it. We pray that this simple bottom line will be a reminder for kids to take responsibility when they have a job to do. God can give them the strength they need to follow through and get the job done.
Key Question: How can you use what you’ve been given? Kids are often so focused on what they want, that they don’t think about how to use what they already have. Whether we have a lot or a little, it’s important for us to use what we have wisely. We hope that preteens will start to realize that what they have—talents, time, or possessions—comes from God. We pray they’ll discover how they can use them to point others to Jesus.
Next, we hear another one of Jesus’ parables found in Matthew 25:14-30. A businessman went on a journey and left three of his workers in charge of some of his money. Two of the workers turned a profit while the third buried his portion, did nothing with it, wasted his opportunity for growth, and ended up having it taken away.
Bottom Line: Make the most of what you’ve been given. God has made us responsible for things—money, talents, even our stuff. Kids will discover some of the ways they can remember that everything we have comes from God. We pray kids will discover how they can use those things wisely.
Key Question: Why do your words matter? Preteens are starting to be aware of the impact their actions have on their relationships, including the words they use. We hope that kids will start to think about the importance of words and how they can use them to help others.
We finish the month with something Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:29. Paul writes, “Don’t let any evil talk come out of your mouths. Say only what will help to build others up and meet their needs” (NIrV). Our words have the power to help or hurt others. When it comes to our rules for life, what we say and how we speak matters.
Bottom Line: Use your words wisely. Words are important, but even as adults we tend to use them without thinking. We hope that as kids hear more about what Paul wrote in Ephesians, they’ll understand that how they use their words can show God’s love.
In 2018 we entered a new chapter at Mosaic with the Every Moment initiative. A key part of this next step in our story includes a buildout of our Winter Garden Campus, utilizing the building’s unused expansion space in a plan we call Phase Two.
What does this mean specifically for our 5th and 6th graders? Primarily, it means a new, freshly designed gathering space! Our large Mix room currently sits across the lobby from The City and the rest of Mosaic Kids. In Phase Two, we’ll build out two completely new City and Garden gathering spaces, which will allow us to move Mix56 into the current City space and give it a whole new look! (Don’t worry Mix56ers, we’ll be bringing the pool and ping pong table with us.) This will allow all of our Mix 56ers to be in the same wing of the building as the rest of Mosaic Kids, seeing their siblings in rooms right by theirs and no longer having to cross a busy lobby to get to their dedicated space.