6 Top Tips For Ministering To Middle Schoolers

Kids in middle school are in a unique position in their development. They are not yet affected by the rapid growing up that high school introduces, but they are usually eager and ready to think critically. Teach middle schoolers by encompassing the best of both worlds.

Grant Glas
May 16, 2022
Kids Ministry Leadership

You can play some fun games without them worrying about not looking cool. And, you can start digging into some of the deeper topics that life has to bring. Middle school minds are ready to be molded, as these are some of the most formative years of their lives.

As a middle school ministry leader or volunteer worker, you have a unique opportunity to shape young people’s ideas about God and Christianity. Make a lasting impression that encourages your class to cultivate a relationship with Jesus by following these top tips.

Celebrate their energy

Girl jumping in the air

Kids can be a pain; any teacher or parent can tell you that. They haven’t yet developed the skills to manage their emotions properly and can get distracted far too easily. The trick to being a strong middle school ministry leader is to harness this energy for good, not punish them for it. 

Students of this age tend to have abundant excitement levels, so use this to your advantage by doing more interactive activities. When channeled correctly, this God-given energy can be used for learning. But, when children aren’t offered the outlet they need, they tend to distract others or mess around.

Fun songs with dances

Team of young dancers

As middle schoolers still love dancing around to music and letting off some of that energy. Keep the fun nice and controlled by teaching them choreographed actions to Christian songs to keep them learning all the while. Incorporate songs about Jesus, both classic and modern, into children’s church lessons weekly.

Not sure which songs to choose? Check out this list of 25 cool and upbeat Bible songs that your class will be sure to love! Top tip: save the singing and dancing for the end of the session if you have other work to do. You could even use a fun ten minutes at the end of class as a reward.

Learn through games

Playing card games

Sitting down and studying for long periods of time can be a challenge for kids as they make the transition into high school. Following the children’s ministry curriculum shouldn’t be a chore, so make sure you use games that they will enjoy alongside standard reading and writing exercises.

The 15-minute rule says that you should follow every 15 minutes of work time with an energy-burning game or activity when teaching middle schoolers. Keep kids focused by letting them release their energy consistently throughout the class. Here are 50 fun church games for youth that don’t require any prep at all.

Introduce them to charity

Teens doing community service

Engaging in service for the community should be encouraged at all ages, but middle school kids are at a particularly good age to dig in. Set them up for a lifetime of giving from a young age, whether it’s playing games with other children living below the poverty line (both online and in-person), or organizing donations for those in need.

Instead of only giving back to the community on special occasions like Christmas or the summer holidays, why not weave consistent giving into their kids’ ministry curriculum? Doing this will set your young learners up with the right ethic toward giving back. Give them the mindset of consistent missionary work from a young age.

Encourage abstract thinking

Girl in deep thought

At this age, students will start to question the things previously told to them as fact. They might start asking about how we can trust the truth of the Bible or wondering why God would ever let people suffer. When handled correctly, this moment is a learning opportunity for your youngsters.

Instead of driving them away by approaching their skepticism with annoyance, now is the time to hone in on the meaning of faith. Don’t be offended when these questions come to light, as it is simply a step on the path to deeper, everlasting faith. Try out some fun object lessons that help kids understand what faith means to them. 

Partner with parents

Parents playing with their son

Creating a partnership with parents is essential at any stage of a child’s ministry education. While they will spend a few hours weekly with the church, the rest of their lives are spent with the family. Ensuring the parents of your students are on the same page will do wonders in solidifying messages of faith for your kids.

The best way to strengthen the relationship between kids ministry and parents is with open communication channels. Instead of hoping your students remember to relay important information, give it directly to the parents. Whether this is through a weekly newsletter or an automated messaging service is up to you — just make sure you keep them in the loop.

Middle school ministry offers an incredible opportunity for fun and excitement to intertwine with intelligence and development. As these youngsters reach a pivotal point in their development when both sides are embraced, learning becomes dynamic. 

There are countless ways to celebrate the high energy that middle schoolers bring to the table. Using kids' ministry games and fun ministry songs is a smart way to use their excitement to make your life as an educator easier.

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