Making Impressions While The Cement’s Still Wet
By Rob Brower • interlinc Editor • Tumwater, Washington
This image is actually me in middle school.
Yes. I am, in fact, wearing neon pink sunglasses, a necktie, and a ribbed tank top. And, no, I wasn’t wearing it to be ironic nor was it a costume of some kind. That was just me!
For me, and many others, middle school was a time of uncertainty and discovery as I was trying to figure out who I was, what I liked, and what life was all about.
I wasn’t sure where I belonged so I sought to fit in everywhere. There wasn’t any one particular group that I felt I strictly belonged to so I hung out with all kinds of groups.
I tried my hand at football, basketball, baseball, and track. I enjoyed role-playing games, video games, skateboarding, and rollerblading. And while I may not have had all the answers, I was more than willing to explore all my options. My opinions weren’t set in stone. In fact, my will was still quite malleable.
The youthworker that had the greatest impact on me was my 7th grade Sunday School teacher. His name was Jody. As you might expect, we were a rowdy bunch. We skipped class often to “use the restroom”, rarely listened, and even poked fun at his name. No matter what we did, however, he never lost his cool and just kept loving on us unconditionally. Just like Jesus would have.
Join or Renew your Youth Leaders Only Annual Membership (the #1 music and media service for youth ministry) and we will give you 5 FREE print copies of Surviving Middle School ($85 value). Limited supplies. While supplies last.
Not having been raised in a church-going family, Jody was the first Godly man that I took notice of and aspired to be like. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t be in ministry today if it wasn’t for the example he set for me.
While in middle school, my parents bought their first house- a new construction. We would stop by often as the house was being built just to watch the progress. After the driveway was poured I wrote my initials in the wet cement next to the front steps. It remains to this day.
As youthworkers, the more we work with middle schoolers, the more we will find two truths: middle schoolers are just weird and, more importantly, they are more open to trying new things in an air of self-discovery.
Yes, they can be hyper bundles of energy but they are also fertile soil ready to receive the seed of faith that we are called to sow. As youthworkers, we have an amazing opportunity to pour into middle school kids making an impact that can last for all of eternity. That’s why we’ve dedicated ourselves to doing what we do– to help you do what only you can do.