Weekend Teaching Series: What I Wish I Knew in Junior High (series kickoff, week 1 of 5)

Sermon Synopsis: This weekend we welcomed in our 6th graders to JHM – we had our official welcome weekend and it was a total blast. There’s something super fun about the energy of the new kids coming in (it used to be freshmen for me when I did high school ministry so this is a first with 6th graders. I spoke on “I wish I knew that God sometimes goes off script” and talked about some of the more painful moments in my junior high and high school story. How we have a script we write for our lives, and it isn’t always part of God’s plan. The student outline this week was formatted exactly like an old screenplay, and I leaned into the analogy a ton. Thought it was super creative, took some serious extra work but pleased with the message and telling your story to junior highers is so disarming to them, since they all are writing a story, too. Really special weekend.

Service Length: 61 minutes

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We started with DYM’s Random Facts countdown video – the music in the middle was more mellow than I was expecting but sure picks up nicely at the end. We played 2 INCREDIBLE Download Youth Ministry games this week (like we do every week, honestly). Both happen to be popular sequels to games we’ve played previously that crushed as well. Ancient Artifacts Volume 1 was a total surprise hit last time, kids had NO idea what the technology items on the screen were, which led to some super hilarious guesses and moments and made our volunteers look like a hero because they recognized everything. A GREAT game, even though students will probably not recognize anything hardly at all! The sequel was super this weekend for sure. Also, we do 2 games on a pretty regular practice, so we played Copycat 2 – a game where students act out silly cat .gifs on stage and it crushed as well. When the next sequels come out, I promise you we’ll be playing those youth groups games, too!

Music Playlist: Glorious Day, Echo

Favorite Moment: I had a student come up to me to talk about some of the pain she is going through in junior high as well. Our stories were pretty mirrored, so she felt very seen this weekend. I wasn’t able to simply tie up my story with a nice neat bow (because that isn’t what happened) but was pleased it resonated with her so much!

Up next: What I Wish I Knew in JH (week 2, Josh speaking again!)