Today I was asked to fill in for a teacher who was going to be missing the second half of the day. It was a very easy schedule and the students were gone to activities (music and computers) for most of the day, but there was a period of time where the students had 25 minutes of silent reading time. I wanted to model good behavior for them so I read the book that I had brought with me called "Junior High Ministry."
In the first few pages it gives this shocking graph...
I'm blessed to work for a church that supports my ministry. That the church board has given me resources to work with to help me in my ministry. If your church does not support children's or junior high ministry...show them the above graph.
When we realize that after the age of 14 the statistics are against us..it helps us to realize the importance of this group. Our excuses that junior high students are awkward. That they smell. That they are brutally honest. That they make us uncomfortable. All of those excuses don't matter.
We have to train up and equip leaders to see this idea. That we have to love students for who they are, not for who we want them to be. We have to see them how Jesus sees them.
They're worth it.