I know what you’re thinking: Aside from my own middle school student (most of the time), why would I want to work with middle school students? Good question. And most people are more afraid of stepping into a room of junior highers than they would be about wading through a snake pit. But if you are someone who has a heart to do ministry, whether it’s with adults or kids, whether it’s vocational or volunteer, whether it’s on a stage or behind the scenes, I have a theory that I believe will be like a concentrated of growth in the things it takes to do ministry well.
My theory: I think anyone who wants to work in a church ministry needs to first serve in a middle school ministry for at least 1 year. Here’s why:
Working with Junior High students forces you to:
– Learn how to love people when they are annoying.
– Not take yourself too seriously.
– Do something you think is stupid (like Google fart jokes), but makes someone else feel happy.
– Grow your patience.
– Learn how to teach scripture clearly and tangibly (developmentally, their minds can’t quite grasp abstract concepts).
– Become totally humbled as you watch a twelve-year-old “kid” spread the love of Jesus.
– Appreciate the value and power of small groups.
All of these things are so essential to ministry of any kind and I think that spending a season (or three) in junior high ministry is like taking an “intensive course” on how to become the best minister to anyone is any ministry.
And also you get to play video games and call it “community.” Win-Win-Win.