Why Middle School? (by Adam Reed)

This story comes to us from Pastor Adam Reed, originally posted on his blog
A few months ago I was talking with a 7th grade student and she asked me if I have always wanted to be a middle school pastor. I began thinking back to when I was volunteering at a church while I was in seminary and the youth pastor asked me which age group I would prefer to work with.  At that time I told him that I would rather work with high schoolers.  As I look back now it was at that time that I can begin to see my love for middle school students.  I was working with the high school students, but found myself enjoying hanging out with middle school students.  After I graduated from seminary I served at a couple of churches working with students 6th-12th grades, but it seemed like more and more I found myself enjoying spending time with the middle school students. 

Here are three reasons I really enjoy working with middle school students:
  • They are Teachable - Middle schoolers are very open to learning, and are just starting to take a hold of their faith.  The answer of “the Bible says so” doesn’t hold up as much anymore.  It is at this age that we can come along side a middle schooler and help them understand and think through their faith.
  • High Energy – Any time you get a group of middle schoolers all together there is a lot of energy.  I think this adds a lot to our group times because you never know what to expect.  It keeps us on our toes and makes teaching both challenging and fun!
  • Transitions – Middle school is tough because of all the transitions that students are going through.  They are dealing with good changes and some that aren’t as much fun.  It is during these changes that they need caring adults to help them navigate these transitions.  It is during these transitions that we can sometimes see the most growth in their lives.
Middle school ministry can be tough at times and you can feel unappreciated, but we can know that we are making a difference in these students, and we can look forward to seeing how God is working in their lives 10 years from now.

I want to thank Adam for allowing us to share his story. You can find Adam on twitter @ypadam or on his blog. Middle school is by far my favorite age to teach.


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