The latest release on the Emergent Pittsburgh podcast is available… it’s an interview I did with Terry Timm, Lead Pastor of Christ Community Church of the South Hills. This is another preview of the upcoming Heart of the Missional Church Conference.
My advisor from seminary, Dr. Andrew Purves, recently mentioned my name during his lectures at the Montreat Christian Life Conference. Check out “No Other Name”: Part II around the 4:45 mark.
For the record, the lecture itself is something to listen to – especially near the end when he really hits his stride. As it says on the PFR website, “In a clearly Spirit-filled moment”
When I started the adventure of youth ministry (over three years ago now) I started working with High School students, and loved it. I felt as though I could relate to them well in general that seemed to be where I felt the most comfortable doing ministry. When I start as a volunteer at Northmont I started with the high school youth group – and loved it once again. And when I went on staff at Norhtmont I again, started with High school youth group only…
And then came the December of 2004, when I took on the additional challenge of middle school youth group. I had worked with the middle school youth group a little bit when I was in Colorado, but not too much. So, to be the honest, the thought of leading a middle school youth group was more than terrifying…. after all, middle schoolers are a lot different than high schoolers. Well, to make a long story short I found out that I really liked middle schoolers – they weren’t the same as working with high school students and there were certainly thing I didn’t like, but I really enjoyed it.
Last night was my first middle school youth group here at Hampton and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. As things worked out with our summer calendar I spent the majority of my time with the high school students. But, once again I was reminded why I love working with middle schoolers…
- Middle school is a total transition, everything is changing – so there is an incredible openess to learning and asking questions that I’ve never found in any other age group
- The energy level is astounding
- They are not as overwhelmed as Senior High students with work, college, social commitments, etc. (Not saying I blame High School students for this – it’s part of life, it’s just one advantage to middle school)
- The stark seperation between guys and girls that you find in children’s ministry is beginning to fade
- Middle school students are beginning to learn how to relate to one another in independent ways
- Middle school students are brutally honest with everyone – each other and adults.
- Middle school students are smart – because they haven’t learned the “boxes” that as adults we have, so often they say things and I go, “hmm, I hadn’t thought of that”
- Their faith, as with everything else, is going through a major transition and it’s an exciting time to be involved in their lives.
I’m sure there are others, but that’s what comes to me off the top of my head.
Great article this morning about another church in Pittsburgh that is “thinking different” in their approach to ministry http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06256/721297-51.stm
Another common link – this one also involves a Pittsburgh Seminary graduate
I interviewed BJ Woodworth, lead pastor of The Open Door, for the Emergent Pittsburgh Podcast. Two weeks ago I interviewed Doug Pagitt, also for the Emergent Pittsburgh Podcast. You can find them both here
Don’t forget – The Heart of the Missional Church, October 5th-7th