One of the most important things a WyldLife leader can do is to remember what it was like to be in middle school (without reverting to middle school behavior).
For some of us, middle school was recent enough to remember it like it was yesterday. For others, middle school was long enough ago that the memories are solidly stored and packed away.
Except that they aren’t. They never are. Middle school is one of the most formative stages of life, and our memories of middle school never disappear. They just get misplaced. Or “disremembered.”
As a WyldLife leader, it’s important that you remember what it was like to go through that stage of life – the worries, the heartbreak, the excitement, the confusion, the sadness, the unrest, the uncertainty, the exhilaration, the insecurity, the hopes, and all the rest of it.
Here’s a set of questions you can use both for yourself and your leadership team that will help you remember not so much the specific details of your own middle school years but rather the intensity and reality of your own middle school experience. If you can recapture and honor that intensity and those realities, you’ll be able to understand and relate to your middle school friends even more deeply and sincerely than you already do.
These questions should be answered from two different viewpoints: first, answer them as if you were still in middle school. That is, put on your middle school self and answer them as you would have back then. Then answer them as your current self, looking back on your middle school experience as a wiser and more experienced adult.
The Questions (more accurately, the fill-in-the-blanks):
- In middle school I was too ____________.
- In middle school, I wasn’t __________ enough.
Do this with your leadership team and be prepared for a lively and passionate conversation. It turns out that we actually do remember middle school quite vividly, especially how we viewed and felt about ourselves.
Follow up with these discussion questions:
- How did this specific middle school self-identification impact me at the time?
- How do my middle school experiences and memories affect my ministry?
- How should/can my middle school experiences impact and improve my ministry?
Posted by Crystal Kirgiss (WyldLife Leader, Raceway Regional Trainer)