In Part I I gave some thoughts on junior high and some possible points of concern. Now I’d like to look at underclassmen or freshmen and sophomores.

Underclassmen – This is the age where they seem to be taking more responsibility for their own faith and growth. I’ve always pushed it at an earlier age (JH) and would like to see it happen then but this is the time where everything seems to connect. Following that pattern, we start equipping and encouraging them to regularly practice spiritual disciplines such as prayer, service, Bible reading, Bible study, scripture memory, and evangelism, to name a few.

We also continue to emphasize God’s character and how it shapes our identity as followers of Christ. Looking closely at the life of Christ, we can see how Jesus lived and begin to follow that same pattern.

Here we can also start to emphasize the “put on’s” and the “put off’s” of Scripture and what it means to really live in community. As part of that we can look at the bigger story and how they are a part of it. This could take the form of an Old Testament & New Testament survey of the Bible.

This is just a draft that I’m working through so I’d love to hear your feedback on it! Next I’ll address upperclassmen.

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?