Guest post by Ronald Long

There are 1189 chapters in the Bible. There’s absolutely no way you can teach your students all of them in the six or seven years that you might have them under your care.

So what are you going to teach them?

That’s what I want you to think about as you read over this. I’m a middle school pastor and I work with 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. That means I have them for three years. Because I only have students for three years, I really feel burdened that I have to be extremely intentional about what I teach them.

I understand that I’m going to get students from the children’s ministry and hand them off into the high school ministry. I also understand I may have a seventh grader come in for a year who is only around me for that one year and then I might never see them again.\

Because of this, I’ve set out an outline of what I teach my middle school students every time we are in a large group setting. We normally work in month long series.

I focus on: The attributes of God, the gospel, spiritual disciplines, and relationships.

I totally get if you would choose four totally different things to hone in on. But this is what we’ve decided as a ministry to put our focus.

How we work through those happens in a lot of different ways. We do topical studies about how students relate to parents. We do book studies where the main idea of the book hits at one of the main four things we are teaching towards and we do character studies where we look at someone in the Bible and see how they exemplify one of the four areas we teach from.

I came up with this because I wanted to both be on point with the greater vision of our church and to know that if a student went through our ministry they would be able to have a good grasp of these four huge concepts and be able to take the next step on their spiritual journey.

Our church is vision statement is that “We are a community rooted it in the word, reproducing Christ followers, and reaching out to the world.”

First alliteration is cool. Second, as someone with the maturity of a 12-year-old, I can’t read the word “reproduce” and not chuckle.

But each of my main teaching goals comes from the vision of our church.

Rooted in the word: Attributes of God

Community: Relationships

Reproducing: The gospel

Reaching the world: Spiritual disciplines

Since I only get 150 Sundays, give or take a few, with my students I want to be extremely intentional with how I teach and what I teach. It’s my prayer that you would be as well!

What is your church’s overall vision?

How does what you are teaching your students line up with that overall vision?

What are you going to teach your students that will prepare them for the next step in their spiritual journey?