So I’ve been trying to figure out patterns in how our youth have functioned over the past several years at church. From those patterns I’m hoping to develop a way to better prepare them spiritually.

I’ve broken the youth down into three age groups: junior high, underclassmen, and upperclassmen.

Here is what I’ve determined for Junior High:

Junior High – Need help with practical issues from a biblical perspective. This should point to a bigger view of God who is almighty, all-sufficient, and in control (among other things).

The JH’ers need help understanding insecurity, esteem, relationships, image, conflict, God-honoring character and actions, speech, reliance on God and not self, and the sin nature. This, of course, is just the short list.

It seems to me that the big focus of teaching should be on the character of God, the lives of people in the Bible and how God interacted with them. In addition, practical passages covering some of the issues mentioned above need to be addressed.

So what do you think? Any comments or suggestions?


I am excited about the group of junior high students we have right now! They are really fun and they are really serious about wanting to be like Jesus. And that’s what it is all about!

This past summer I began thinking about how to ground them in the Word without overwhelming them. What resulted was a “series” we started back in August called One Verse Wonders. In this series we are covering basic doctrines and themes using a key verse or two from the Bible.

The idea behind this is supposed to be fairly simple. Each week we have a verse that corresponds to a particular topic. We start off by analyzing and breaking down the words so we can understand what it says and means. After that we discuss and discover the context of the verse. This is done so the youth can actually see and be involved with the process of what it looks like to “study” the Bible. After that we will typically discuss what it means for us (application) and reference other passages that might apply. Hopefully this allows them to grasp the truth of the Bible for themselves and put it into practice.

I have found that you can also encourage other disciplines like memorization. I have challenged them to memorize one verse a week. This allows them to do in in some sort of practical context. Also, I originally started out by writing a weekly devotion to go with our topic but that quickly became very tedious to complete. That might be something I go back and add later. It is another way to tie it all in together.

The great thing about how this is done is that it can really be done for both junior high or senior high youth with only slight modifications. I’ve included the topics and verses below just in case it might be helpful. If you’d like, please contact me and I’ll be happy to make the actual lessons available in a print format. You can see how the possibilities are endless for what you can cover.

Other topics or verses that I intend to do include: Armor of God, Evaluating media, Creation, Image of God, Heaven, Hell, Prayer, Romans 12:1-2,James 1:23-25, and Put on/Put off.

Let me know if you have other ideas!

1) Spiritual School Supplies
2) The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)
3) Acts 1:8 – Witnessing and the power of the Holy Spirit
4) The Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-39)
5) The Gospel (Problem, solution, choice)
6) The Gospel, week 2
7) The Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
8) Recap…
9) 1 Corinthians 10:31 – Worship
10) Joshua 1:8 (Lessons to a young leader) – The Word
11) John 17:17 – Truth
12) Ephesians 4:29 – Talk
13) Hebrews 10:24-25 (The church, philosophy and values)
14) 2 Corinthians 5:17 – A new creation
15) Romans 8:38-39 – Eternal Security
16) Philippians 4:8 – Guarding Your Heart
17) Philippians 4:6-7 – Anxiety and the peace of God
18) Philippians 2:3 – Humility
19) 1 John 1:9 – Confession
20) 1 Timothy 4:12 – Being an example in your youthfulness
21) Isaiah 26:3 – How to have God’s perfect peace
22) Galatians 5:22,23 – Fruit of the Spirit
23) 1 Peter 5:8 – Satan
24) Who is Satan? Part II (broader survey)
25) Relationships Overview – Is dating in the Bible?
26) Matthew 16:24-25 – Denying self and following Jesus

Last weekend we took some of our boys down to SpringHill Camp for a junior high weekend.

We had a great time! While I was there I realized how much I love being around junior high youth. I got a chance to reconnect with some old friends and I got a chance to meet some new ones. The best part was the time to just hang out with our guys!

Our speaker for the weekend was Ben Glenn, The Chalk Guy. He does chalk drawing on sheets. He was pretty amazing. Here’s one odd fact we found out – he likes his sheets to be 50% cotton and 50% polyster.

Throughout the weekend I found myself thinking a lot about my daughter becoming a middle school’er even though that is years away. It made me a little sad. I don’t want her to grow up so fast!

On the brighter side, one of our jh guys found his long lost twin. Check it out!

My long lost twin

My long lost twin

SpringHill has been a really great camp that I highly recommend. Check ’em out!