Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity (1 Timothy 4:12 NIV).

It is amazing how much I learn from 12 year olds.

Seriously. Anytime I spend time with students in our junior high ministry, I am amazed at their insight and wisdom. The world seems to think junior highers aren’t that awesome. Don’t you hear it all the time?

“I would never want to relive my junior high days.”

“Wow! You pastor junior highers?! That must be a calling!”

But, it’s true. My middle school years weren’t my best. I’d enclose a picture in this blog if I could find one I wasn’t at least slightly embarrassed by. Let’s just say, YIKES!

However, we believe something different about these students. We believe valuing them opens our eyes to see the great things in them. The other day, I was meeting with a student for discipleship. We ended up playing a game with her and her little sister.

She so lovingly and patiently helped her sister to play the game, enjoying her child-like take on the rules and letting her make mistakes.

She led her sister well and I was taught something.

It is true that teenagers change the world. But maybe, they don’t only change the world; they also change us.

In Response

What would happen if all of us valued a student enough to learn from them this year?

By Kelly Woods, Junior High Pastor