Concrete Disciple – Understanding a Concrete Thinker

How concrete is a middle schooler? When I pick my sports team I factor in abstract things such as where they are from (hometown loyalty baby) who is on the team, the skill level of those on the team, etc. However, I recently had a conversation with a soon to be seventh grader on his […]

When There Are Three

Now about eight days after these sayings, he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. – Luke 9:28 If we examine closer Jesus’ followers, we see that he calls out specifically three of them to experience a part of him beyond what either the crowds or the […]

When There Are Twelve

And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles… – Luke 6:13 So Jesus, as we know, does some really cool things. Jesus calls out these twelve dudes who become the apostles – these core disciples who experience a lot more of Jesus than the crowds experience. […]

Water Slides, Middle Schoolers, and Jesus

So yesterday was a full 8 hours spent shivering in cloudy, temperamental Northeast Ohio weather to…get wet. With around 25 middle schoolers and 3 other brave adults – we ventured to the defunct SeaWorld turned Wildwater Kingdom water park in Aurora, OH. And more than just a bunch of water slides, wave pools, and beach […]

Ordinary Is Sometimes Extraordinary

So for the past three Monday evenings our middle schoolers have met up for our summer gathering at a family’s home in our community. We call it “Dive In” because we dive in to God’s word and then literally take a dive (well, its not quite deep enough…so a splash) in their pool. Its been pretty […]

When There Are Crowds

And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. And those who were troubled with […]

The Luke 15 Factor

Something crazy happens in Luke 15 – something which I believe is critical for middle school students to understand and for us to embrace. We got to experience it this past summer during our first trip to BigStuf Summer Camps (www.bigstuf.com) So the whole week they preached Jesus – which was awesome. And they set us […]

The Five Letter Word

Today I am blogging about that crazy five letter word. Usually we write about words in terms of letters when they are bad. But this word is actually really good – and much needed – not just in the world of middle school ministry, but in responding to Jesus’ call to follow me. The word is […]

3 Lies About Middle Schoolers

I may be just a tad partial to middle school ministry. After spending five years working with 6-8 graders you either really like them or really dislike them. Thankfully, I really like them. It also opens your eyes to how critical this age range is. It may have been true that 20 years ago middle […]

More Than Words

So Paul writes something pretty cool in his first letter to the church at Thessalonica. We find this in chapter 2, verse 8. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. What […]