Merge - 4th and 5th Grade Ministry


Here’s a special place you’ll find regularly updated stuff to help in the privileged responsibility of parenting teens.  Anything from a simple quote to some awesome resources like books or websites, you’ll find it below.  And if you have any suggestions of stuff you’ve found helpful as a parent feel free to drop me an email so I can get the info uploaded!

Cutting and Suicide

This conversation came up at our last Parent Cafe and I promised to link some good articles for furtuer study.  I know it may “feel” premature to deal with these issues, but the research tells us that children deal with these issues at younger and younger ages.  Honetly it’s best to start the conversations early, than to have to deal with it in the midst of the crisis. While cutting and suicide are two very different issues– and cutters are not necessarily suicidal, and suicides do not always start as cutters– they do both fall under the umbrella of self harm.  Check out the following articles, and let me know if you need more resources or want to talk further about either of these challenging issues.

– Cutting: Understanding the Self Mutilation of Teenagers

– Cutting: What to Do

– Five Evaluators of Suicide

Should I Make My Kid Do Chores?
The book Children Who Do too Little came highly recomended from one of our key parents and tackles the issue of why having kids do chores is so important.  It also contains a list of 100 things kids need to learn before they leave home.  Click Here to Read More

Good Books and Blogs For Parents

Making Children Mind Without Loosing Yours by Kevin Leman has helped us a bunch over the years.  Click here for more info

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp and Age of Opportunity by Paul Tripp have been staple recommendation over my 20+ years in Student Ministry.  Shepherding really tackles the issues relating to ages birth thru 5th grade, while Age tackles the pre-teen and teen years.  Great books to have on your shelf…

Blog: Parent Cue is an excellent blog with articles ranging from Three things every Parent Should Do Before Their Kid Leaves Home to Sibling Warfare.  Easy to navigate, material that spans all eras of parenting and all written from folks who are actually doing it.  Check it out! Click here

Current Sunday Series

Just Grow Up (Sunday 10:45 AM)

Everybody needs to grow up… imagine if we stayed like a baby when we are 17 (well, maybe that’s not actually so hard to imagine sometimes) that would be weird and a little grow (no one wants to change those diapers!).  Well, the same is true in our spiritual lives, and it was something God talks about in the Bible.  So join us as we take a walk thru the book of 1 Corinthians to see where we need to Just Grow Up!


Meet every Wednesday 6:30-8:00… is divided by grade and gender… and is designed as an opportunity for students to discuss life and faith in Christ with each other and a loving adult leader.  For more info contact Children’s Ministry Director Courtney Ferden.

Note: Small groups will be cancelled whenever Saint Johns OR DeWitt JH/HS are closed.  This includes both winter weather related closures as well as holiday closures.  We will do our best to post weather related closures on the MERGE Facebook Page page, so be sure to “like” us. 

Last Small Group for the season is April 1st

Primary Communities Served



St. Johns