Middle School Overwhelmed Sunday Series

Our Sunday Series is taking us through Key Verses in the Psalms that share truth to tackle faith’s ups and downs.

Each lesson gives your student the opportunity to study Scripture and apply it to their own life. Below are the passages we are studying and the main takeaway from each lesson.

Additionally, each lesson includes a memory verse, and we’d encourage you to learn these verses alongside your child.

Sunday, Feb 21
When I Want to Cry Psalm 80  
THE TAKEAWAY It’s ok to grieve. Christ-followers cry out to God to remind ourselves of who he is and what his plan is.
KEY VERSE “Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!” Psalm 80:3 (ESV)
Sunday Feb 28
When I’m Happy Psalm 103  
THE TAKEAWAY Joy in God’s grace and love for you is a praise you can always bring to him.
KEY VERSE ““The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” Psalm 103:8 (ESV)
Sunday March 7
When I Feel Wronged Psalm 79  
THE TAKEAWAY We cry out to God in times of trouble, but we also leave justice and vengeance up to him.
KEY VERSE “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:23 (ESV)
Sunday March 21
When I’m Thankful Psalm 100  
THE TAKEAWAY God delights when we give thanks, and he’s given us endless reasons to be thankful.
KEY VERSE “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” Psalm 100:4 (ESV)

Believe Weekend Sessions

After a JAM PACKED weekend with Worship, Challenging Teaching, Student Hangouts, Small Group Discussions, and Fellowship with the people of JESUS, we celebrate 19 decisions to follow Christ and 18 students that followed in believer’s baptism.

Whether you are jumping back in with us or joining us for the first time, we hope that these messages and worship songs bless you on your journey in following JESUS.

Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 4

Awkward Middle School Series

THINK ABOUT THIS

What is one of the most potentially awkward and uncomfortable conversations to have with your middle schooler? The one about sex, dating, and relationships! That’s why we’re spending four weeks talking about just that in our new series, Awkward. A conversation like this one may be awkward, but it’s so important! Some students may be curious about it while others may be uninterested. Some may be embarrassed while others may be experiencing some of these things for the first time. And some may have never thought about sex, dating, or relationships before. No matter where your middle schooler may be, it’s important to lay the foundation for healthy thoughts, habits, and behaviors around sex now so that they’ll have a better framework to make decisions as they grow. 

Sunday, Feb 7 – Session One

Romans 12:1-2

What we do with our desires matters.

Wednesday, Feb 10 – Session Two

1 Corinthians 6:12; John 10:10

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should

Sunday, Feb 14 – Session Three

Mark 12:30-31

How you treat others and yourself matters to God.

Wednesday, Feb 17 Session Four

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Focus on becoming love before looking for love.

Morning Time

Reach out to your kid’s Small Group Leader this week. Let them know that you appreciate their voice and presence in your middle schooler’s life. Empower them to be a safe person your kid can talk to about things like sex and dating. Thank them for being a trusted adult your kid can go to with difficult and potentially awkward topics.

Drive Time

If there’s one thing we all know and understand, it’s the feeling of an awkward moment or experience! So, challenge your family to come up with the ultimate awkward list. Together, think of as many moments or experiences as you can that could easily be labeled “awkward.” Whoever can come up with the most potential awkward moments is the winner of this awkward family challenge!

Meal Time

Find an easy way for your kid to talk to you about sex and dating. To do this, come up with a code word or phrase your middle schooler can say, write, or text to you to let you know they need to talk about something that’s potentially awkward for them. This will give them an easy way to come to you and give you a chance to mentally prepare before the conversation happens.

Bed Time

Conversations about sex have the potential to be . . . well, awkward! So do your best to plan ahead. Think about how you want to respond before the conversation happens. Prepare for the way you want to handle talks about or experiences with sex and dating in your house so that when the time comes, you can respond rather than react. 

Believe Weekend Speaker: Stuart Hall

STUART HALL

Powered by 30 years of next-generation leadership experience, Stuart serves as Director of Student Leadership and Leadership Networking for Orange (ReThink Group) and also leads INFLUNSR, an organization whose mission is to fuel the next generation of leaders worth following.

Combining a unique balance of self-deprecating, anecdotal humor, iconoclastic insight and powerful application, Stuart speaks to thousands of junior high, high school and college students, student pastors, parents, leaders, and coaches every year through camps, retreats, and special events. 

Stuart has co-authored three books: the award-winning The Seven Checkpoints: Seven Principles Every Teenager Needs to Know and MAX Q: Developing Students of Influence with Andy Stanley, and the leadership edition of Wired: For a Life of Worship with Louie Giglio.

Stuart speaks regularly at BigStuf Camps, the Orange Conference, and the Orange Tour. In his spare time (insert sarcasm here), he serves as a volunteer high school varsity girls basketball coach for the Buford High School Lady Wolves, who have recorded seven GHSA state championships, two state runner-up finishes, nine Final Four appearances and one Elite Eight appearance in the last ten years.

Stuart and his beautiful wife Kellee reside north of Atlanta and are the parents of three young adult children: son Grant (a 2017 Duke University graduate and football letterman), daughter Chandler (a senior basketball player at Rollins College), and daughter Cameron (a freshman soccer player at the University of Florida)

RESPECT – 2KINGS 2:23-24

When you throw around ideas in a meeting to find a THEME something like… BELIEVE WEEKEND… other ideas swim through your head as well!

Don’t worry, we are not asking GOD to bring any SHE-BEARS to Believe Weekend. Our intention is to challenge students to BEAR FRUIT. A completely DIFFERENT MESSAGE than this one!

However, if you are a parent in sudden need of a quick lesson on RESPECT, this IS IN THE BIBLE.

‘He went up from there to Bethel, and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” And he turned around, and when he saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord . And two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys. From there he went on to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.’ 2 Kings 2:23-25

7 Undeniable Characteristics of Middle Schoolers Parents Should Know

PARENT CUE ARTICLE: 7 Undeniable Characteristics of Middle Schoolers Parents Should Know

Ashley Bohinc

If there is one common theme that surfaces every time I talk with parents of middle schoolers it’s this: it’s really confusing and really hard. Why? Because change is what marks this phase of life, and change isn’t easy for anyone.

I have worked with middle school students in educational, athletic, and ministry settings for more than 14 years now. Although each context was uniquely different, there were still a few basic things about (most) middle schoolers that remained the same no matter what.

1. They push their parents away.

This is normal. Middle schoolers want freedom. They aren’t kids anymore, and when they are treated that way, they revolt. They push back on everything from bedtime to chores to going places by themselves to social media. They want to make their own choices. They are tired of being told what to do and when to do it. That’s the tension of living somewhere in the middle. That’s why it’s so important as a parent of a middle schooler to have adults you trust in their life other than you. Those adults can stand in the gap between your teenager and you (and help them see you are right after all).

2. They may act one way with you and the complete opposite with someone else.

You get a call from their teacher, coach, or small group leader, and hear a story about how helpful they are around the classroom, or encouraging they are during group time. And you instantly think, “Seriously? My kid? I can’t even remember the last time they said anything encouraging to their siblings, or the last time they helped around the house without complaining.” It’s confusing when they act different with different people. Why do they do that? It’s not that they are being fake, they are just trying on different parts of their personality to see what fits them best.

3. What their friends think matters more than anything else.

This is difficult, because as puberty begins to change them from the inside out, middle schoolers are desperately trying to fit in. Peer approval will always trump advice from adults (especially their parents). They can’t be seen wearing those pants, hanging with those boys, or walking around in public with their parent. The point is, teenagers in the middle school phase care more about what their peers say than anyone else. This isn’t just your kid.

4. They exaggerate (and sometimes lie).

When you find yourself wondering, “What happened to my kid? They didn’t use to be this way,” know you are not alone. This is middle school. Something happens at the 8th grade dance, and your kid is huddled in a circle crying in the bathroom with her friends. If it’s trending, they are talking about it… non-stop. Friend drama is basically an all out brawl (with words or rumors). It thunders outside, and they act like they’ve never been in a storm before in their lives. They see a snake outside, and it’s most certainly trying to eat them. Their teacher is obviously the most unfair person on the whole planet. Oh, and they didn’t copy that homework or cheat on that test; they were just scratching their head! You get the point. It’s a phase full of all out exaggeration.

5. They are incredibly insecure about what is happening to their bodies.

They feel like they are the only ones going through this thing called middle school. And when you feel like you are the only one going through something, you feel like all eyes are on you at all times. Normalizing what’s happening to and around them is important, but be sensitive to the fact that when you bring up what’s happening to their body, they may get even more insecure at the fact that you are noticing. If you are trying to get your middle schooler to do something in front of their peers and they resist, there is probably a physical explanation for it. Sweat stains. Period leakage. Wrong bra. Gas. Food in their braces. Acne. Though it’s all normal, it feels isolating to them. So don’t push them.

6. They want to have fun, but they want to be taken seriously.

You can’t be boring, or they won’t want to spend time with you. They don’t want you to just allow them to have fun; they want you to have fun with them. At the same time, they want you to be real with them. They want to be taken seriously. They don’t want surface answers. They want direct, real explanations. When they tell you something that seems silly to you but real to them, you can’t laugh. You can’t dismiss it. You have to engage it with a matched level of seriousness to show them you care.

7. YouTube is Gucci.

According to many research studies, 80%-95% of Generation Z seeks advice through YouTube channels and videos. The most searched videos are about real stories, day-in-the-life videos, behind-the-scenes videos, or how-to videos. They want to know about relationships and dating, teen trends, advice on how to do new skills, and more. If they don’t know how, they go to YouTube. If they don’t know what it is, they go to YouTube. If they want to become famous, they go to YouTube. So basically, you should be on YouTube, too.

Parenting middle schoolers is no easy task, which is why understanding where they are and what’s normal will help you stay sane as the parent. Remember: It’s not just your kid, it’s just middle school.

Discover what’s changing about your kid or teen over the next 52 weeks, the 6 things your kid needs most, and 4 conversations to have in each phase. The Phase Project, including these Middle School Phase Guides, is a synthesis of personal experience, academic research, and gatherings of leaders and educational experts from across the child development spectrum. 

Topics: Fight For The HeartMiddle School (6th-8th)

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Can You Hear Me Now?

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

Okay, so the Verizon guy… wait the Sprint guy… whoever he is with, gave us a simple phrase that sticks out in my mind all the time. Our family totally changed services here in New Braunfels in order to HEAR ONE ANOTHER. From where we live currently to where we go out and about, we continuously found certain areas where our calls were dropped. Then, as we moved out of the “dead spot” we magically connected again. Needless to say, we made a move TO BE HEARD.

As we are looking at PRAYER or CONNECTING WITH GOD as a church, our Middle Schoolers are going back to the basics of what it means to connect with God.

That same question, “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?” seems to come up as we focus on prayer as well.

The BEST example we have is JESUS HIMSELF, as he preaches His first (and need I say LONGEST) sermon that cuts to our hearts, even today. In this Sermon, presented on a mountain, he directs His people to think about the “WHY” when it comes to prayer.

“Don’t be like the hypocrites, for they love standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full” (Matthew 6:5 NIV).

 “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then, your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you”  (Matthew 6:6 NIV).

WHAT IS THE REWARD?

When we create a space and a place to CALL ON the Lord, we get more than an instant download code for 20% off on a flash sale. When we make time to focus on the person of JESUS and call out to HIM, we get more than three wishes for all our dreams to come true. Our REWARD is far greater than a “good day” or a material possession.

OUR REWARD IS A DEEP RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS.

Isn’t that what our hearts truly call out for? I believe we are moved to choose a payment plan and upgrade to a new cell phone because we value the close relationships in our lives. We desire to connect with others on a deeper level, and we want to guarantee a secure connection.

How does the value with our Father translate to our daily lives?

I believe that an intentional TIME and PLACE builds a foundation for a deep encounter with the God of the Universe through Jesus Christ. How have you created an intentional time and place this week to connect? How have you seen the ultimate reward work out in your own daily walk with Jesus?

Believe Weekend January 28-30

Believe Weekend Schedule

Thursday- Jan 28

6:30pm        Student Check-in (bring CAN donations from home)
7:00pm        Session 1
8:15pm        After Event
8:45pm        Dismiss

 

Friday- Jan 29

6:30pm        Student Check-in (bring CAN donations from home)
7:00pm        Session 2
8:15pm        Breakout Groups
9:00pm        After Event
10:00pm      Dismiss

 

Saturday- Jan 30

2:00pm        Student Check-in (bring CAN donations from home)
2:30pm        Session 3
3:45pm        Breakout Groups
4:15pm        Event
5:00pm        Dinner
5:30pm        Session 4
6:15pm        Breakout Groups
7:00pm        Baptism celebration Dismiss

7:30PM        DISMISS