For parents, youth workers, and especially students, the junior high years can be extremely difficult. Middle school is a time filled with change. Emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual changes are in flux and it is incredibly difficult to navigate.
Remember the simple boxes of crayola crayons that would have only 16 colors. It's pretty easy working with the crayons; there aren't many choices but there's a lot you can do with those colors. Now imagine for a second, only knowing that spectrum of colors and suddenly being introduced to the box of 96 colors. Having significantly more colors provides so much more value, but at first glance hwo are you to figure out what to do with colors like "Macaroni and Cheese" and "Purple Mountain Majesty"? Before just orange and purple were fine, but now there are different shades and nuances that in your mind didn't exist before.
The middle school student is in this type of flux. For years as a child there brain worked one way. They thought spiritually the way their parents told them to think. They hung out with students who lived close to them. But suddenly all of this starts to change during adolescence as a students change. They begin to think abstractly and critically. Their faith becomes their own faith. And their circle of friends changes from proxmity to affinity. As a middle school minister, it's my hope that during this time of change that I can help students understand the unchanging truth about who they are in Christ.
Photo Credit: Mail Order Mystic