A Voice, A Choice, and A Chance

This article [Goldilocks in Our Midst: Ministry With Young Adolescents (by Mary Lee Becker)] from Reimagine Faith Formation includes all kinds of helpful, practical, theoretical, theological, and missional truths about working with middle-schoolers. Though the intended context is a church or parish setting, you’ll find that almost everything translates to a WyldLife context.

A few highlights:

When working with middle schoolers, always keep in mind –

  1. They lack judgment because of development “brain freeze” – be patient
  2. They are primarily (still) concrete thinkers – be clear in your teaching
  3. They are active, not passive – make things real and relevant
  4. They are social beings – tap into the spiritual essence of friendship and relationship
  5. They are gifted and growing – engage their interests and strengths

Young adolescents want and need –

  1. To be accepted and respected for who they are now.
  2. To be involved and active (physically, mentally, socially).
  3. To know clear, concrete expectations and guidelines.
  4. To understand “why” behind new ideas and concepts.
  5. To be challenged to grow with the help and support of a caring adult.
  6. To know they matter to someone.
  7. To be acknowledged and valued for who they are, not just what they can do.
  8. To contribute in positive ways.
  9. To be affirmed and appreciated in their attempts, whether successful or not.
  10. To express their dreams, questions, opinions, and doubts.

This can be summarized as: young adolescents want a voicechoice, and a chance.

Read the whole article. You’ll be glad you did!

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