The Future Freshman Spectacular is a fun after-school event where eighth graders learn about high school life and enjoy a 50-foot banana split. The purpose of this event is to jumpstart your ministry for next year, exposing the upcoming freshman class to your campus ministry, and giving them the opportunity to be involved in your student ministry through a 4-6 week follow-up Bible study. A side benefit is that you build and train your current leadership students by having them help plan and carry out the event, and also help lead the follow-up study for the eighth graders.
1. Pray, pray, pray.
If possible, take your high school group over to the middle school one day to pray for the Future Freshman Spectacular.
2. Obtain permission from the middle school to hold the event.
Plan about an hour and 15 minutes for the event.
3. Clarify details with a school administrator.
Be sure to ask and determine the following:
Future Freshman Spectacular Outline
Select a male and female high school student to serve as your two emcees. Have them explain the purpose of the event: To welcome the freshman students to high school, inform them about your ministry and meet high school students currently involved with your ministry. Give a brief explanation of your ministrys purpose and activities.
Fun games include the banana pass and spoon on a string.
Create a skit centered around the first day of class as a freshman. (A "Captain Nemo's kit works well with high school students participating.)
4. Student Testimonies
Have one or two students give testimonies explaining life as a high school student and how your group has helped them.
5. Disclaimer (Optional)
While you are up front with the students who are about to share, give attendees the opportunity to leave for a few minutes if they choose to do so.
"For the next 10 minutes or so, we are going to talk about how God can make a difference in your life.
If you or your parents would object to hearing this, we respect you as young adults and give you the freedom to step outside the room and return after (speakers name) is finished speaking. We have found that what (speakers name) is about to share has made a positive difference in many students lives and could make a difference in yours as well."
6. Gospel Presentation
"The most important thing to help you through high school is having a relationship with God."
Share a basic gospel message.
7. Comment Cards
Explain comment cards thoroughly, covering each of the options. Be sure to clearly explain the meaning of the box, "I received Christ at this meeting." Also explain that you will be meeting for the next 4-6 weeks to talk more about growing with God as well as having more fun activities like today.
You may ask them to write the word "study" at the top of the comment card if theyre interested in participating in the Bible study.
8. Collect Comment Cards and Give Away a Door Prize
Have student or adult volunteers collect the comment cards for the prize drawing. Place cards in a bowl or bucket and have a student select the winner. Remember, the comment cards are a way for you to know who came to the meeting and to find out more about their spiritual interest.
9. Invite Students to Your Next Meeting
This would be a good time to make an announcement about your next meeting. Pass out a flier promoting this or have several involved students pass out fliers at the exits.
10. Announce an upcoming conference or special event
Bring brochures to distribute. If time permits, show a promotional video or have a short skit about the conference.
11. Eat Ice Cream Sundaes or Banana Splits
Have most of the preparations done before the meeting. Have your adult volunteers put on the ice cream and toppings during the gospel message. Take pictures - you'll have some great shots here!
12. Dismiss Students
Follow-Up Bible Study
Spend the first 30 minutes with some social time and creative games, and the last 30 minutes on the Bible study content. Break up the students into appropriate groups; you might consider having a guys group and a girls group. If your high school students are ready, this is a good opportunity to have them participate in leading a group. Offer snacks after the meeting. Enjoy, have fun and always be flexible!!
Flier and Parents Letter
The front of your flier should be an advertisement of the Future Freshman Spectacular. On the back of your flier, you may want to include a letter to parents.
Heres sample copy for the parents letter:
Dear Parents and (ABC Middle School) Students,
(Name of your ministry) invites all eighth-grade students at (ABC Middle School) to attend a Future Freshman Spectacular this Friday afternoon from 3:30 - 4:45 p.m. in the cafeteria. Our student leaders from (XYZ High School) are hosting this special event just for you. We hope you will plan now to join in on all the fun. The after-school program, including the 50-foot banana split, is free!
(Name of your ministry) helps students develop positive values and leadership skills while developing a personal faith that makes a difference in their everyday lives.
The action begins immediately following school when students from (XYZ High School) will host the Future Freshman Spectacular for you. The fun will include relays, skits, prizes, a 50-foot banana split (yes, its really that long!), as well as the chance to mix with the high school students and find out how (Name of your ministry) has impacted their lives.
Be sure to make arrangements for a ride home; the event ends at approximately 4:45 p.m.
If you have any questions please call me at (phone number). Looking forward to seeing you Friday!
(Your name or name of your ministry leader)
Ice Cream Sundaes
Heres what you will need to prepare for if you choose to serve Ice Cream Sundaes at the close of the Future Freshman Spectacular.
After the gospel message begins near the end of the talk, ask your volunteers to prepare the Ice Cream
50-Foot Banana Split
Simply add the following to the supplies listed for the Ice Cream Sundaes:
In addition to those listed for the Ice Cream Sundaes, follow these guidelines:
Obtaining Donations and Supplies
Usually most grocery stores will donate almost all the ingredients if you explain to them what you are doing. Below is a sample letter to request donations for the Future Freshman Spectacular.