Monday, February 21, 2011
For the past few weeks I have been teaching the Middle School class during the service at church. We keep the middle schoolers in for the music/worship time and then pull them out three weeks out of four for a class time. I have been working through a very simple Bible study method with them, encouraging them that the Bible is understandable and applicable, even to sixth through eighth graders.
So here's what I've learned about middle schoolers:
*They are as goofy as all get out...at least the boys are
*They come in all shapes and sizes
*They can talk non-stop and they can be as quiet as a mouse
*They can behave when I put on my momma voice
*They absolutely can understand the Bible and make personal application
These kids are great! They are full of life and energy, but they also understand that God's Word is really just that - God's Word. And probably my favorite thing about these kids is their confidence that Jesus is returning. For the past two weeks I have had several kids mention Jesus return.
I really like that. Do you know why?
Because their parents are teaching them this fact. Even if it's not formal teaching, they are hearing their parents talk and they are absorbing it.
The kids were a bit surprised when I told them that no matter what their parents believed, they were not born on God's team. Every person ever born has been born on Satan's team. The decision to change teams is a personal decision. This was a sobering fact to these kids - they come from Christian homes and hear the Christian talk and even make Christian decisions. But the relationship and the choice of making Jesus Lord of their lives does not lie in the hands of their parents.
Now, once these kids get to high school, this concept is far more acceptable. They will want to be independent and they will not want to be under their parent's umbrella too much longer. But in middle school there is still some attachment to the family, in most cases.
So the fact that they have to choose their team loyalty was a surprise to some. They argued that there was a third option - there was God's team, Satan's team and their own team. But I was quick to point out that their "own" team was actually Satan's team, because if you don't worship God, you worship Satan, even if you think it's yourself.
So what does this have to do with me? you ask. If you are a parent, I want to encourage you to be aware that your children are all ears - they hear what you say to each other and about each other. They are learning so much without you even teaching them - know this and commit to being Christ to your kids.
Secondly, if you aren't a parent or don't have kids in the home right now - don't be afraid of the middle schoolers. Yes, I know they are loud and goofy, but they are very teachable. Keep it simple. Keep it biblical and keep it real. They love to be treated like grown-ups and pouring into a child's spirituality is a very maturing thing to do.
Now...go find a kid and make their day!