10-second Tip: Believe in Middle School Students

Jacob Eckeberger
August 18th, 2016

At the NATIONAL YOUTH WORKERS CONVENTION, we stopped youth workers from all across the U.S. and asked them to share a 10-second youth ministry tip.


“Middle school students can change the world. Believe in them.”


When middle school students have the right support, encouragement, and examples to follow, they can do amazing things. Here are a few ways to create aspects of youth ministry that can help middle school students believe in themselves and change the world:

Embrace the awkward.

If your students can feel welcomed and accepted in their most awkward times in life—which seem to climax in the middle school years—they’ll know you really care about them.

Model student leadership.

When your middle school students see high school students leading, investing in the youth ministry, and serving their community, it helps your middle school students know what student leadership looks like.

Create leadership opportunities for them now.

Help foster the gifts and talents in your middle school students with opportunities for them to lead alongside older student and adult leaders. They won’t be perfect, but they’ll be challenged and encouraged to grow the gifts that God has given them.

Support the crazy world-changing ideas.

Do some research to figure out the top 10 needs in your community. Present those to your middle school students and help them brainstorm possible solutions or ways that your church can help. Then, decide as a group which 1 idea you’d like to tackle and spend the next entire school year helping your middle school students accomplish it. It might mean reallocating some of your ministry’s budget and other resources, but your students’ crazy ideas really can change the world.

Join us this year for the National Youth Workers Convention in Cincinnati, OH for way more tips and ministry ideas from the 50+ seminars and training opportunities. Register early for NYWC to save BIG: NYWC.COM.

JACOB ECKEBERGER is the Content Manager at Youth Specialties, an itinerant worship leader, the spouse of a church planter, and a long time volunteer youth worker. You can find him blogging about social media and digital strategy ideas at JACOBECKEBERGER.COM.

Jacob Eckeberger

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.