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Who I amReside in St. Louis Missouri currently, Lived in California & Colorado.Husband.Father.Pastor.Football Enthusiast.Teacher.Learner.Dreamer.Reader.Friend. [thoughts & comments blogged here are my reflections living life trusting Jesus as God]

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Jr High Ministry Idea

I've always been very honest with myself that I'm not wired for Jr High Ministry.  Don't get me wrong I love Jr High Students and the phase of life they are in.  I my personal opinion is Jr High Ministry is 1 of 2 MOST IMPORTANT & CHALLENGING ministries a church can have.

That being said I've had to work hard at being a good Jr High Pastor.  And while working hard I discovered about 6 years ago that creating spaces where Jr High students know they are liked will gain you MILES of relational street cred in the life of Jr High Students.

A simple way I've done this is asking a Jr High student to stand in front of a group of their peers while having leaders speak truth and encouragement into their life.  Jr High students need to know they are liked!  When they know that truth, they'll open their life up and ministry can be very fruitful when that happens.

This exercise allows students to hear positive, affirming & truthful statements about their life from leaders who genuine care for them.  It also allows the group of peers to hear & see how messages of encouragement can be communicated.

Often students squirm, feel uncomfortable being the center of attention as they are being praised.  It's natural when they all usually live in a world that has degrading messages from family, friends & who knows where else.  But it is a joy to speak truth into the life of a student and see them smile.

I've had friends ask me the best places to try this exercise and I think small group settings are great as well as during a camp retreat.  Any chance we can get to speak to a student and affirm their identity in Christ and the value they have in this world will do wonders for the relational ministry you can have with Jr High Students!

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