Sending The Church Back To Middle School

What are your memories of middle school? Honestly, mine are not great.
We currently have two kids in middle school. With both of them involved in music and other extra-curricular activities, our family finds ourselves at the school quite regularly. This was not the school I attended, but I do find it quite interesting the string of memories emotions that come back when walking through the halls gymnasiums, and auditoriums inhabited by 10-14 year olds.

Now, perhaps you are reading this and you do not understand where I'm coming from. Perhaps you have fond memories of those years, where you remember being the first to the top of the rope in gym class, you remember your loyal group of close friendships, and you remember when you found your own voice in written assignments. This is not the way things went for me.

My memories of that season of life are a mixed bag of awkwardness. 
I transferred into the school a year late, so many of my experiences have to do with negotiating the emotions of interacting with new people for the first time. 

I clearly remember the faces of the kids who were kind to me as a newcomer but I don't remember the other face with clarity, because I bet I was probably too busy looking at my own non-label shoes to look up at them. I remember being mortified if my bus arrived late to school from snowy conditions, because I would have to enter the classroom late in front of everyone. 

I remember doing more sit-ups than anyone else and expecting thunderous applause, only to find out that no one was impressed, and no one seemed to notice. I remember being really proficient in my writing abilities, and really behind in my computer skills. I remember not liking either extreme.

What does any of this have to do with the local church? 
Here are 5 things the church should go back to middle school to learn (again).

1. People are still uncomfortable in new situations no matter their age.
2. People would rather find their own way, than ask the wrong questions.
3. People want to feel safe to share their story. Rumors can spread like wildfire.
4. People will chase what is popular. People will cling to what is stable.
5. People will always need to find their identity in Christ rather than relational status.

If you agree with this paradigm, how do you think the church should respond?

Pastor Milo


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