Lessons From Middle School Ministry: YS Idea Lab with Scott Rubin
Scott Rubin is a long-time veteran of middle school ministry. In this YS Idea Lab from NYWC 2014, Scott shared about his journey into ministry and some lessons he’s learned along the way. Here are 4 key ideas that I took from the conversation:
Ask questions to get to know their story.
Asking good questions and remembering their responses is a key way to connect with any middle school student, even the ones that feel a bit closed off. That’s because honest questions show that you really do care about them. They notice that and will slowly start to trust you as you continue to invest time into the relationship.
Point out their strengths.
Scott shared that it means the world to middle school students when you can point out something special in them. When you name a strength or a great part of their character, they almost don’t believe you at first. But as you get to know their story and they get to know how genuinely you care for them, they’ll start to live into the strengths you see in them.
Embrace the awkwardness.
Awkward is a part of the package for middle school ministry. There’s an ebb and flow from goofy interactions to a few serious moments and it’s important to embrace those. Scott mentions that by choosing to go with the flow of those conversations, you’re able to put yourself in their shoes and create some comfortability with them. That will allow you to make the most out of those more serious light-bulb moments when they do come along.
Intentionally involve high school students.
There are lots of ways that you can help bridge the gap between middle school and high school students. Scott shared that brought in a high school student to help co-lead his middle school small group. It helps create relationships across the middle school and high school boundaries while also providing a valuable leadership moment for that high school student.
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