The following is a guest post by Terry Goodwin, a junior high youth worker for 12 years.
Our goal as Student Ministers is to help students and their families grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. I know from my own experience that this is can be easier to judge in High School students. Many times if a High School student is not growing in their relationship with Jesus we can see that in their actions.
We cannot expect students to shine their light if they are not growing. It is interesting though that we want our High School students to be so mature and focused yet we don’t focus on helping them prepare to reach this level.
Most Student Ministers are not just dealing with High School students. Many times we work with Junior High and High School. Because of this we feel we have to give more attention to one area than the other, and we feel it is more important to focus on High School Students because they will be going to College soon, and we all know what happens when students go to college.
I want to challenge you today to focus on your Junior High ministry. If you want a youth group that is well grounded in Scripture, then you need to build that foundation with your Junior High Students. Do you want students that have morals? Teach them about morals in Junior High. Students are learning and making choices in Junior High that will shape their life. If we have the opportunity with students in Junior High we need to take advantage of it. For more info on this check out my post called, “Junior High Ministry: Who cares?”
Many students build habits in Junior High that they do their entire life. We must try to help them focus on Jesus. In Luke 9:23 Jesus says, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” Junior High students can understand this. They can make this choice now that will shape their High School years and beyond.
I encourage you to think about how we do ministry. Where is our focus? Where should our focus be? If you want a group of High School students that can live the life of a follower of Jesus, then a good start would be to spend some time focusing on what our students are learning in Junior High. We have to try to present the Gospel to them, so they can actively seek life change. If you are at a church where you only work with High School students, then you should make sure that you are still aware of what is happening in Junior High ministry. This is only going to help you in your ministry to High School students.
Terry Goodwin has worked in Junior High Ministry for 12 years. He is also the creator of juniorhighministry.org.
Posted on April 4, 2012