A little while back I mentioned that I am going to be leading a junior high girls bible study for youth group on Wednesday evenings. Well we had our first “official” time together this past week, and I must say a few things.

1) I am really really excited about this.
First the word was that the group would be comprised of grade 8 and 9 girls, and now it appears I’ve got a few grade 10 girls as well. Super! These girls are all amazing. Most of them I know from having been in senior high when they were littler (is that a word?), and there are a few new girls too, which is super. They’re loud and have short attention spans and like to talk about boys. A LOT :)
We spent our time together compiling a list of things they want to discuss this year. The list includes
:Ways to get closer to God:
:World religions:
:End times:
:Spiritual gifts:
:Ways God speaks to us:

2)I am really really scared about this.
I’m little. I grew up having a limited amount of self esteem. I guess part of that is because I’m short and when you’re the shortest in your class for 13 of your 13 years of going to school, people bug you. And tease you. And make jokes. Yeah, funny for them. Because in their minds, they were bigger, therefore, they were better. More competent. So now part of me wants to buy into the fact that I’m not a competent person for this challenge. But really, who is? I have to rely on God to help me through this, because he surely knows that I’m no experienced teacher. My prayer is that I can help and not hinder these girls’ walks with Christ.

3)What’s the ideal for youth ministry?
This I have not found an answer to. All I know is that for the most part, the way youth ministry is being approached is all wrong. I mean, for all my junior high years I never even went to youth because I felt too much like an outsider. Then when I did go, I didn’t feel like anyone understood me. I would go to small group at youth and we’d go through a lesson that was photocopied out of a book and fill in the blanks and we’d say, “yeah, i’ll put this in my bible and look back at it as a reference,” when really I never did. How does a xeroxed lesson know what’s going on in my heart and my life? They never did. What I have determined so far is that kids do not want to be preached at, they want to be related to. I want to be a leader who facilitates discussion. I want to be able to help them discover answers to the questions inside them instead of preaching to them.

This is going to be a stretching time. Next week we’re discussing how to help your friends when they’re having problems, “especially problems with their Christian walk”. Talk about a loaded issue. These girls want to dig, they’re not satisfied with surface stuff. I’m excited. And scared. Please pray. And if you’ve got any insight to lend, please do so.

18 Responses to “d:/tails”

  1. Markio Says:

    I’m working with C&C now but I have way more experience working with Youth than what I’m presently doing. I can tell you from my experience in HIgh School that pat Xeroxed sheets, no matter how good, suck. I just wanted to hear from the life of the person that was trying to teach me. I just wanted to hear the thoughts that were going through that person’s head. That doesn’t mean that they didn’t continue learning from other people but I wanted to know what had sifted through them and impacted them. Whenever I do this with Youth, they seem to like it. You have powerful experiences of community and spirituality that these girls will be starving for. Big, small, you are the person that they will have the contact with those Wednesday nights. You are the one they are looking to. Not the kids that bugged you or the sheets that were photocopied from Experiencing God.

    Stories are the most impactful thing that you can ever use. It is always better when they are your own but other people’s stories are just as powerful, this goes for any age.

    And finally, I recommend a lesson from the history of Don Froese. Ask questions. Expect God to speak through the kids. Challenge the kids to share where they are at with you and each other. The most powerful question that he would ask me everytime we were hanging out alone was, “How are you doing with God?” I knew it was coming and scared the crap out of me but I so desired someone to care about that part of my life that I would endure the question to receive the care and the challenge that came with it. (in our weekly leadership team meeting two of us would have to share where we were at with God in greater detail and that was also such a huge huge blessing but that was a part of the requirement of being on the team, I’m not sure how it would work for a small group)

  2. Cameron Says:

    Well, Gimp, I read it. I don’t see it say anywhere that I’m hot. What’s up with that? Seriously, though, you’re going to have a blast with those kids this year. I had a great time with my group last year, and God pulled through and gave me junk to talk about (Ok, I talked the junk, God talked the goods). Word.

  3. Kimbo Says:

    markio, thank you so much for that comment.
    and i definitely know what you mean about the “how are you doing with God?” question scaring the crap out of you: I had the same experience with one of my mentors when I was on SoD. I knew he wouldn’t settle for a one word answer and that was scary, but so encouraging to know he cared that much.
    Again, thank you for all you said, your words have breathed life into me.

  4. Alicia Green Says:

    I’ve done some work with kids around that age and loved every minute of it. You might not really consider it working with them though, as much as it is being their friend. I grew to love them so much and they became some of the most encouraging people to be around. I think it’ll be an incredible experience for you.

Leave a Reply