From Your Friendly, Neighborhood Middle School Pastor:
As the Middle School Pastor at Oakwood Church since 2007, I have seen students come to Christ, move forward in their relationship with Jesus, and share the great message of the Gospel with their friends and others on mission trips and local serve projects.
My hope is for LIFE CHANGE on the INSIDE when LIFE IS CHANGING so rapidly on the OUTSIDE. The BEST PLACE to engage Middle School Students is during the crazy world of CHANGE that they are experiencing in Middle School.
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The most intense stage for the family is the Middle School time frame, where the Parent Repellent comes out and the question becomes, “Who is this kid I used to know?”
- Your sixth grade kid is moving from reflecting you and your family values to deflecting them in order to grow into an adult that will eventually look a lot like YOU.
- Your seventh grade student could possibly be playing 20 questions with you to find his or her authentic faith and guardrails for life.
- By eighth grade, we see this small, lovely child begin to grow into a physical adult body and correspond with you like an adult.
This is the launch pad for many things as they discover themselves, develop skills and talents, and decipher Spirituality in the process.
MY PASSION is to lead students to the heart of the Father by helping them own their faith in Jesus Christ and grow in an authentic relationship with Him. My greatest joy has been to see the light turn on when a student begins to KNOW the Father through Jesus, GROW in their relationship, and SHOW the love of Jesus in their daily lives.
Opportunities during the year include:
- Believe Weekend in January, when students spend time listening to the truth of God’s word and apply it to their lives.
- We see friends coming to Wednesday weekly meetings and Sunday Morning Weekly gatherings to have some fun with one another, but also to connect with Jesus in a relevant way geared for their age group.
- Our Servant Leadership Camp in June gives a nuts and bolts experience of what it means to serve with the love of Jesus and reflect on the love of Jesus on a personal level.
- We have fun events, concerts, lock-ins, and other activities that build community and give students a place to experience a loving and accepting environment.
We are on the journey together to Know God, and grow closer to Jesus every step of the way.
#1 Recommended Devotional
Know God: A 28 Day Devotional For Students
Getting our students to connect with God personally is an area where a lot of student ministries struggle. Knowing God doesn’t happen in a moment. A huge win for this age group is a personal, daily walk that happens on their own. This is why Orange decided to develop Know God: A 28-day devotional for students, and that is why the Oakwood Student Ministry is behind it as well.
What it’s not: This devotional isn’t about knowing everything there is to know about God. Students can read every word in this book, fill in every blank, follow every suggestion, and still not understand ALL there is to know about God.
What it is: It is about students starting a journey to help them know God more and discover Him on their own. Because, even though there’s no checklist for knowing everything about God, there are a few things they can do every day that will help them know Him better. The Know God Devotional can help your students learn how to have daily devotions while developing spiritual disciplines.
Here are four devotionals excerpted from Know God that we have used for discussion. These devotionals would be a great follow-up for students who are interested in developing a consistent daily time with God and His Word, or for simply learning more about God. You can download them below.