“Middle school? No thank you.” Famous last words of mine.
I mainly work with kindergarten through fifth grades; but recently took on a small group of middle school girls on Sunday afternoons. It is definitely different! To be honest, I had NO desire to work with the age group. They drive me insane… too much drama; but there was a need. Parents of kiddo’s who had moved from my children’s program into middle school were sharing their concerns. Their children were struggling with the pressures of middle school. Sure, they know their bible stories, but they didn’t know how to apply them to their lives. They weren’t ready for the serious application lessons in elementary, so what was I do? Well, I began teaching a middle school small group and it has been an amazing experience so far! Their interest and enthusiasm are contagious.
I am not suggesting everyone run out and add middle school to your plates. It’s something that needs addressed in some way to prepare your children for the real world, but there are multiple ways to handle it. I actually wanted to share what I’ve been learning. As I teach these kids, I am reminded of some of the basics that are so important.
Our first week we talked about being made in the image of God. We talked on a deeper level about each of us being made unique, flaws and all. It’s amazing looking back at life to see how God uses our strengths and our perceived weaknesses for his glory. For me, I see my ability to teach a strength. God blessed me with the ability and the desire to teach; so here I am, teaching kids about God… for his glory. Then I combine that with a weakness. I am short. I mean short! Five foot on the dot. Growing up, I embraced my shortness, but I really wanted to be taller. No matter how hard a prayed, it was the thorn in my side that God was not going to change. As I look back at my life in children’s ministry, I see that God had a plan all along. The kids are immediately comfortable when they come into a room with me because I’m a lot like them. I am short and small; so I do not intimidate them at all (although sometimes I sure wish I did). God combined my strength in teaching with my weakness of shortness and uses me to build his church through children.
This may be a strange example, I know; but it made me think about other areas in my life and those around me who have weaknesses that we let stand in our way. Instead, we should give those weaknesses to God and let him do his work. Look what he did with Moses who had trouble speaking, David who was a little boy when he faced a giant, a bunch of fisherman and tax collectors. God uses our weakness for his glory if we’ll just let him. I would like to challenge you to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses. Pray about them. Has God been working through you or do you need to let him in?
Interested in reading more articles? Here’s a few you may like:
Looking for a good gift for kids/youth who have been baptized? I combine a prayer journal with a rubber bracelet reminding them of God daily. (Our youth already get a nice bible.)