Wanna know how I ended up with a preferential option for people who are in middle school?
It started when I took a job working specifically with 9th-12th grade students. Five years into ministry, I became a high school pastor. (Exhale.)
It wasn’t that I didn’t like middle school students. They were great, but I thought focusing on high school ministry was my chance to really get to know the students who were more like me.
(SIDE NUGGET: One of the false assumptions I made early in youth ministry was that my students were like me. Every student is different. When I was 21 years old, leading 18 and 19 year olds, even then I was in a different place than they were.)
Think for a second about when you moved into your current home. Think about what it was like to unpack your kitchen.
That looks like a good place for the silverware… the cleaning stuff should go there… let’s put plates and bowls over here.
But then life in your new kitchen started. You loaded and unloaded the dishwasher a few times, you got up early for the morning routine of packing lunches and getting the kids off to school, you cleaned up a few times at the end of the day, and then you realized…
A few years ago, one of my good friends and co-workers announced that he was leaving his job as a Middle School Director. If you’ve seen this go down before, you’ll probably be surprised by my next statement.
When he announced he was leaving, it was no big deal to the volunteers he announced it to!
For my friend, it probably would have been good for the ol’ ego if there had been weeping and gnashing of teeth, but, you know what?
His volunteers’ response (or lack thereof) is actually an indicator that he did a great job!