Everything’s Discipleship | Junior High Ministry by (uthpastor.com)

Every now and then in junior high ministry conversations, the topic of conversation turns to discipleship. It’s always a fairly interesting discussion largely because it tends to get stalled out of the gate by the inability for folks to agree on what, exactly, discipleship is; specifically how it’s defined and implemented in a junior high ministry context.
I’ve heard every possible definition: “Helping students become more like Jesus”, “Helping them learn to grow on their own”, “Developing fully devoted followers of Jesus”, “Mentoring and modeling faith”, “Walking in Jesus’ footsteps while they walk in ours”, and on and on it goes.
I recently came across this formal definition of discipleship: To help one embrace and spread the teachings of another. That MUST be an accurate definition because I found it on the internet.
I’m normally a fairly strategic thinker…I like the method of defining my end goal(s) and then working backward to create the steps and processes to get there. But what do you do when you can’t define the end goal? What do you do when the end result you think you want isn’t easily identified? How do you create steps to achieve something unclear? That’s the frustration I’ve often felt with the task discipleship: How can we accomplish that which we can’t even define? What if we do it wrong? What if we THINK we are discipling students, but the target we drew is off? Wait, what target…we don’t even know what we are aiming for! Uhhggg!
I propose a new junior high ministry rule: EVERYTHING IS DISCIPLESHIP. That’s it. Easy. The reality is that most folks would agree that discipleship has something to do with helping junior highers grow closer to Jesus and become more like him. We may not agree on a precise definition….but maybe we don’t have to! When we have an “Everything is discipleship” mindset we begin to minister out of a sense of freedom instead of prescription.
When you crack open the bible and dig deep into with an 8th grade small group (which rarely happens): DISCIPLESHIP!
When you play kill ball after church: DISCIPLESHIP
When you treat a trouble maker with grace: DISCIPLESHIP
When you visit a sick student in the hospital: DISCIPLESHIP
When you show up to a 7th grade girls basketball game: HELL ON EARTH! (ummm…I mean, DISCIPLESHIP!)
Junior high ministry….everything is discipleship.


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