The Middle Years Ministry

Formerly "The JH Uth Guy", THE MIDDLE YEARS MINISTRY is a Site Dedicated to Providing Resources, Ideas, and Help to Pastors, Leader, Directors, Teachers, Mentors and Anyone Else Working in
the
Pivotal and Important 5th-9th Grade Years. The "Middle Years" are not children's ministry, not high school ministry, and are more than just Middle School. It is a unique and specialized ministry.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

10 Reasons Why I "Heart" JH/MS Students!










10. FUN & PLAY.  They still enjoy a great game and can still play.  To many adults have forgotten how to really play and have fun.

9. EXCITEMENT. Life is still exciting and they can still get genuinely over the top excited about life, experiences and the things of God.  Come on seriously have every heard a JH/MS girl scream when something is exciting.

8. LAUGHTER.  Things that are funny are still FUNNY! There is no holding back and trying to be all polite and reserved.  There is no "adult worship sermon chuckle".  Either they laugh or they don't.  Body function humor and random silliness is still hilarious!

7. NO EDIT BUTTON. What they think you hear.  If they think "God Sucks" today because of something that happened at school or at home, that is what they say....period.  There is none of the holier than thou, "church correct" fluff.  The adult "edit button" just hasn't developed yet!

6. PARENT CAN STILL BE CALLED.  Come on you know you love it.  You may not do it unless you really have to, but in the back pocket of every JH/MS youth worker is still the "I am going to call your parents" card.  You can't do that as much  in Sr. High.  You maybe should with some of the college age students.  I wish we could with some of the adults.  The benefit and the curse of JH/MS students ministry is parent may still be involved.

5. I AM STILL COOL  Once again lets be real, we are all getting older.  We think and act like we are hip and relevant, but at the end of the day we are just dorks who love Jesus and students. The Sr. High students who are my former students love me and think I am kind of cool, but my JH/MS students are still completely duped into thinking I am the coolest...well maybe?

4. LIFE IS NOT ALL FIGURED OUT.  They are getting there into the whole "know-it-all" stage, but you still get through to them about life, God, and everything else.  We will have opportunities to talk to them because they don't think the have it all figured out yet.


3. UGLY DUCKLINGS. More to come on this one in another post, but the fact is in JH/MS you get to be there when the cute little 5th grader moves up into 6th grade and turns into the clumsy and geeky 7th and 8th Grader, before they turn into the beautiful swan in Sr. High.  I love it every time.  Pull out the 5th grade head shot compare it to the graduating senior picture.  It one of the reason I still believe God performs miracles today!

2. WILLING TO LIVE THE LIFE. A life lived for Christ is still possible and real.  They are still willing to believe they can live the life! No careers, bad break-ups, and pride to slow them down yet.  You say "Hey this is the Christian life, lets go live it" and they are willing to get it a shot! They may fail, but they are willing to bounce back up, full of energy and give it another try.

1. WET CEMENT. I know this one has been used before, but it is has to be the #1 here too.  JH/MS students are truly forming and developing, for better or worse.  It is a time of change and transition.  They are truly wet cement.  I LOVE being able to with God's help write on their lives and hearts thing that will hopefully become permanent parts of who they are.  It is HUGE and scare fact, but JH/MS students are choosing who they are going to be for the rest of their lives. We get to stand beside them and help them hold the stick that draws the picture in the quick-dry cement of their life!!

*Just a few reflections and thoughts as I sit a few months out from watching MY (yep, there mine!) 8th graders graduate out of my group into Sr. High and a new group of tiny scared 5th grades come in.  I really do LOVE 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. I feel SO privileged and blessed to have this as a life-long calling!!

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