Why I Love Middle School Ministry…
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.