Tag: junior high

When Junior Highers are the Example

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

Back to School: Junior High Edition

I was in Hobby Lobby the other day and realized they already had their Christmas stuff out.

Inwardly, I felt a sense of panic. Do they leave it out all year? Or do they put it out in July?!

Did months go by without my knowing it?! What day IS IT? Am I behind? (And this coming from the woman who has already bought Christmas presents for a few family members and friends. I love to be prepared!)

So, when you see the sign in Target about back to school, take a deep breath. You aren’t that behind. The first day of school will come and go. Your kids will make it through. They will learn valuable lessons, and really, witnessing you as their parents operate out of peace will teach them how to do the same.

Why don’t we look at these last few days of summer like a fantastic opportunity to make memories?

Here are some ideas:

  • Go to HEB and get the bacon mac and cheese Lays chips, just because it’s weird and probably tastes super good.
  • Head to Cameron Park and toss a frisbee around or take pictures trying to do handstands.
  • Have your kids write themselves a letter about their hopes for this school year, seal them up and open them over Christmas break to see how far they got in reaching their goals.
  • Turn on your favorite music and have a dance party in the kitchen.
  • Write thank you cards to your youth leaders (wink-wink) expressing your gratitude for such a wonderful Summercamp and Jump Camp experience!
  • Wake up your kids before the sun comes up, drive to the Waco Dam and watch God wake up the morning.
  • Go to Hobby Lobby and buy Christmas decorations, because, hey! They already have them!
Doing something unexpected and spontaneous ends the summer in a meaningful way.

Fun time together as a family is irreplaceable and doesn’t have to be expensive.  A few days after school starts, you may miss how much those kids were around this summer… even if they are sleeping til noon and eating all the food in the house.

By Kelly Woods, Jr. High Pastor

Junior High Lock-In

Who wouldn’t love a night filled with roller-skating, wild games and all-out fun with Jesus? Our 7th and 8th graders from all over Waco certainly did. Check out the pictures and contact Tiffany Fay with any questions about our Junior High Ministry.

Thanks a ton to Kassie Light for the awesome photos.

BACK TO SCHOOL: PART II

It’s Back to School time! Our awesome youth pastors have some tips on how to get back into the swing of things and set your family up for a successful year.

5 WAYS TO BE A JUNIOR HIGH CHAMP

MAKE A PLAN
There are just so many things to add to the schedule right now! Having a planner and hashing out things early is a great stress-reliever.

PRAY
I love it when I hear that families have prayed and asked God for a specific word for the next season of their lives. Is this a time to rest? Press in? Serve more? Change places of service? Spend more time together? Hearing God on this is so important.

HAVE A FAMILY MANTRA
Younger kids all the way to junior highers will think having a family mission statement is cool. If the students themselves are invited into writing it, they will own it.

COMMUNICATE
I harp on this quite a bit when I meet with parents, but open communication is such an asset to practice as a family. If everyone is open (speaking the truth in love), you can deal with anything. Kick off the year right by discussing past hurts, current relational needs and fears of the future.

HAVE FUN
Tough times and busy seasons don’t have to feel that way if you can enjoy them. Practice thankfulness and being present in the moment. Rejoice in today – after all this is the only time you get to experience today.

BE PREPPED AND READY TO ROLL
Ahhh, school.  New shirts, new shorts, new shoes, freshly sharpened pencils, and a possibly even a new backpack to hold all my stuff.   I have so many memories when it comes to the first day of school…  to be exact, I have 18 of them.  Sadly for me, those times are past.  No longer do I get to have the argument with my mom about how I should get to wear my new shoes before the first day of class. I don’t have to worry about where I am going to sit or who I’m going to hang out with at lunch – I am on the outside looking in.

 

5 WAYS TO ROCK YOUR HIGH SCHOOL YEAR

CREATE A CALENDAR OF THE YEAR
Take the mystery out of the everyday by putting all significant events on a calendar for easy reference. Get prepared, not surprised!

PLAN HANG TIME WITH THE PARENTS
I know you’re busy with homework and friends, but I think you’ll find that spending intentional time with your parents will strengthen your friendship, trust and ability to have fun together. Besides they’re the ones who come running when you need help.

SET THREE “CHECKPOINTS” FOR YOUR LIFE
Choose three things that help you keep a good perspective, attitude, and health in life. A good question to ask yourself is, “If I don’t __________, then my life tends to seem hectic, overwhelming, or hopeless.” After you choose these three things, ask yourself how you did in each area that week.

CLARIFY WHO YOUR CLOSE FRIENDS ARE
Friends change often in high school and that’s ok! But intentionally choose the friends you know will influence you to follow Jesus and make an effort to spend the biggest amount of your free time with them.

PRAY AND LAUGH
Just like us, Jesus loves to laugh at all the funny things that happen in high school. He loves it even more when it’s WITH you. Pray for your family, your school, your friends and for the lost!