What I’ve learned in 3 Years
Last week I celebrated my three-year anniversary at Prince Avenue Baptist Church serving as the middle school pastor. This will be the first year that I send a group of students to the high school ministry that have been with me since they were in 6th grade. When I first came to Prince I had been doing student ministry for 10 years and thought that I had it mostly figured out. I didn’t think that middle school ministry was going to be any different. Boy was I wrong! I’ve learned a lot over the past three years about middle schoolers and a ministry that is geared toward them. Here are a few of the things I’ve learned along the way.
1. They are still kids (kind of) – Middle schoolers love to play games, run around, and act like kids, but at the same time they don’t want to be treated like kids. They want to be grown up and have responsibility, but just not too much. They want to have their space and do things on their own, but they want to know that we’re still there to help them if they need help.
2. Focus on who they are becoming – When working with middle schoolers it is easy to focus too much on how crazy middle schoolers act sometimes. The thing that we all have to do as middle school workers is to focus on who they are becoming. Focus on what God is doing in their lives and how much you’ve seen them change spiritually over the course of a year or couple years. I can’t wait to see all the things these students are doing in the next couple years.
3. Not everyone “LIKES” middle schoolers - There is a big difference between putting up with middle schoolers and actually liking them. I’ve discovered that it is a special person who actually LIKES middle schoolers. They like the craziness, the changes, the challenges, the struggles middle schoolers face, etc. Middle schoolers simply want to know, “do you really like us?”
4. Middle schoolers are often overlooked - Not many people pay attention to middle schoolers. They are not kids who need adults to do everything for them, but they are not in high school getting their license, figuring out their future, college, etc. Middle schoolers are in the middle. This is one of the main reasons I really like this age group. I want them to know that they are important, and that God cares for them.
I’ve learned a lot over the past three years, and I’m looking forward seeing what God teaches me in the years to come!
Posted on July 23, 2012, in Middle School Ministry, Personal, Student Ministry, Youth Ministry and tagged Middle School, Middle School Ministry, Student Ministry, Youth Ministry. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.