We welcomed in a new class of 7th graders in Middle School Ministry (MSM) this past Sunday morning (5/30). They weren’t that hard to spot; they were the ones taking baby steps and looking all around them like it was their first time at Disney (not that I’m comparing our service to Disney……….ours is WAY cooler.)
In trying to give them something to leave with that is both tangible and understandable on their first day in MSM, I decided to talk to them about change. And as I was preparing during the week, I was thinking about all the things that change before we get to high school. Here’s what I wrote down on my white board:
– Food (As a baby, you eat baby food. But hopefully as a middle-schooler, you’ve since graduated to solid foods.)
– Diaper (Hopefully, this also is in the “past tense” category of your life)
– Relationship with Parents (You go from saying, “Sit with me, daddy!” to , “I said 200 feet, no closer!”)
– Punishments, and athletic skills, and clothes, and friendships, and vocabulary, and favorites (movies, sports teams, music), school (teachers, classrooms, assignments), and privileges/responsibilities, and looks, and homes you’ve lived in, and……..
That’s a lot of things that are changing! Pretty much everything in a student’s life has changed or will change in the near future. And somewhere in all that is a desire and a need to develop some sort of identity. Can you see why students’ struggle with who they are? All of the things that they identify themselves AS are really just things that they DO.
Isn’t there ANYTHING that they can depend on?
Yes, there is ONE thing. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” What a GREAT message that we have when we can tell a student that everything around them will change EXCEPT for God and His unconditional love for us.
The 2nd thing that I would list as unchanging is God’s Word. And I tend to keep these two (God and His Word) very close together. That’s why I reference 2 things (but really, 1 BIG thing) that never change. The same passage in Joshua 1:9 that says, “…the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” that they read as a 7th grader will be the same passage as a sophomore in college.
We begin a new era in MSM with a new class. And although they will change and so will we, it’s encouraging to know that there are 2 things that won’t.