Written by Becca Covington, YL staff, Fredericksburg, Virginia
"Who am I?"
"Do I matter?"
"Does anybody care?"
Author and professor Chap Clark says these are three questions every middle school kid is asking himself or herself today. Our WyldLife Campaigner lessons could help our friends find the answers to these questions. Below are a few ways to help Campaigners discover who they are in Christ.
Who Am I?
Young people often equate faith with a list of do’s and don’ts instead of believing in Jesus and following Him. Every lesson we lead should point back to Jesus and our relationship with Him. Jesus is where their identity lies, not in what they do or don’t do. Help your kids understand grace before they learn how to be a Christian. Make sure they know the “why” before they know the “how to”. Consider taking them through the Wheel or Bridge Illustration or start a study on the life of Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. Stick to the Gospel because that is where their identity is found.
Do I Matter?
Every kid desires to belong and matter but struggles with loneliness. We want kids to know that Young Life isn’t the family; we are part of a larger family of God. Campaigners gives kids the opportunity to be part of something bigger than them. Adolescents are gifted members of the body of Christ now, and we can help them grow into that. Set aside time in Campaigners to help kids create vision for how they can love the people in their school. Take them to the school with you to attend a sports game or band concert. Teach them how to pray, then take them with you to pray at the school. We want kids to know they have a place in the Kingdom and they do matter.
Does Anybody Care?
Campaigners should be a place where kids feel known, loved and accepted. We want kids to know, without a doubt, that we care about them. In order for this to happen, we need to get to know our kids, and they need to get to know us. Spend time with them outside of Campaigners to build friendships and ask them questions about their lives. Use the first 15 minutes of Campaigners to share “highs and lows” or favorite ice cream flavors. Make Campaigners a safe space where kids feel free to participate. Create room for questions or discussion in smaller groups. We want kids to feel like they are part of a community where they are valued and their voices are heard.
Every kid is craving something deeper. Every kid wants to be known, loved and accepted. By addressing some of the questions they are facing, we can help our middle school friends find their place in the Kingdom of God.