How Do You Split A Youth Ministry?

Right now our youth ministry is grades 7-12, which is fine but not ideal. Next year we are picking up 6th grade and splitting the youth ministry into two distinct groups, 6-8 grades and 9-12 grades.  We're doing this for a number of reasons, but one specific reason is that I've been presented with an interesting problem: I've got too many kids coming up the ranks over the next few years.

If we do no outreach, not a single student invites a friend, and no new families become a part of our community, we'll have close to 200 students in the youth ministry in 5 years. The children's ministry at our church is literally bursting at the seems with kids, so as time goes on and they get older and older our ministry needs to be able to grow as well.

 

Hear me: I am not complaining.  I'm actually insanely excited for the future, but I'm also freaked out a bit.  So that's why I'm here, writing this.

 

I NEED YOUR HELP.

Has anyone out there ever been through something like this?  If you were in this situation what would you do?  What wouldn't you do?

 

I've got a great team around me that is working to figure out the process of splitting our current group into two groups, building in systems and procedures that can scale to handle large numbers, and trying to figure out how to make sure that such a large amount of students will feel welcomed, connected, and loved as unique individuals.

 

So if you've got any advice or wisdom on any of those topics I would love to hear it.