Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Observations on working age specific/appropriate

The past 2 days have been a great educational experience for me.
The setup of these camps have allowed me to have a great view at the differences between ministry to Jr. High Students v. Sr. High students.

Anyone involved in youth ministry to these two age groups would greatly benefit from doing a trip or event that is similar to both ages back to back.
You'll be blown away by what you see/learn.

Some things I've seen/ learned...
  • In Sr. High Ministry, a Freshman is much closer emotionally/physically/mentally to an 8th grader than a Senior. By watching these two unique age groups, I'm realizing that I've got to find ways to take some concepts/thoughts and put them into more bite-sized chunks for younger High School students.
  • It is much easier to form a relationship and gain a voice in the life of a 7th grader than it is a Freshman. Once you gain that voice, it sticks. I've got to find more ways to connect relationally with the 7th grade.
  • Jr. High students ask questions... lots of questions. Seriously, one girl asked my wife, "If I have to go to the bathroom during the night, do I need to wake you up and ask permission?" The beauty is that they trust you with the answer to their questions. The scary thing is that they trust you with the answer to their questions.
  • This camp is full younger siblings of High School students. Show me an older sibling that is diving in with God and with their Youth Group, and more times than not, I'll show you a younger sibling who is ready to or doing the same. Show me an older student caught up in the opposite sex, and guess what I'll likely see in the younger student.

Many more thoughts, but this has been a great learning experience.

1 comment:

Rob said...


Your comments about this are great and very thought provoking. Coaching 7th grades as long as I have, I agree with the fact that once you break through and reach them, you've got them. In the experience I've had at church with HS, it seems that they are much harder to break through with. That why I love 7th graders. Once they believe in the mission, they'll run through walls for it. They're not yet so caught up in appearance, pride, and cliques. I also have loved your updates on camp...and I've been praying. I'm sure many of us, though not in the picture, felt like we were standing with you outside your prayer house. Keep it up!