This past school year I have been the interim middle school youth director at our church. It has been fun and frustrating and everything in between. I have no idea why they picked me to lead kids who seem to use Lord of the Flies as a manual as I feel like I’m just barely keeping the wheels on this crazy train. Fall semester we spent a lot of time playing games and watching Everwood (which they loved). Then my co-director decided that we better do something real or they were in for a world of hurt when an educated leader stepped in and actually tried to teach them something. Teaching bible study to middle schoolers is like trying to teach cats synchronized swimming. However, this past week we actually had a meaningful conversation about God’s role in their life regarding courage. I thought we were making headway when I asked the group what they do to screw up their courage when faced with a difficult task. They seemed deep in thought when one of them answered; drink a liter of soda. That’s just great.
Two things stand out to me after spending significant time around middle schoolers: I never knew a 13 year old could talk so fast or scream so loud, and if I ever have to hear Katy Perry’s Roar again I’m going to stab myself in the ears with a screwdriver.
The following are just a few of the things that I have said out loud to a group of 6th, 7th and 8th graders. As the words come out of my mouth I’m actually thinking to myself, I can’t believe I’m actually saying this.
1. Did you just steal candy from a homeless person? May the Holy Spirit convict every one of you who just took candy from a homeless person.
2. Santa is watching.
3. I‘m not moving this bus until you are sitting in a seat (said while stopping in the middle of the street, holding up traffic.)
4. So, does everybody understand how that girl got gonorrhea of the throat? Said after watching an episode of Everwood in which the teenage characters learn the effects of casual oral sex. I then went on to explain (in medical terms) how one contracts gonorrhea of the throat. To which their response was: Ewwwwwwwwwwww! You just said; exchange of bodily fluids!
5. We’re about to enter a public place. Please raise the level of maturity up several notches.
6. There are people in here trying to enjoy their dinner too. Please don’t ruin it for them.
7. Jesus is watching.
8. Why are you wearing shorts and flip flops? You do realize it’s 25 degrees outside, right?
I’m happy to report that the church has hired a new Youth Minister. I’ve met her and am over the moon thrilled with her and I’m not just saying that because I will have my life back. Unfortunately, she can’t start until this summer so we have 4 more months until I’m no longer in charge. Until that time we will continue the insanity. I’ve already started planning how to make the new gal’s life a dream come true. Can you say, Starbucks delivered to her office everyday? Please, sweet baby Jesus let this woman love it here. Can I get an amen?!
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