Investing in the Lives of Students
Below is a blog posted by one of my Middle School Girls LIFE Group teachers. As I read this I swelled with joy because this is an example of small groups functioning at its best. Read the full article HERE. Megan Hamby is deeply invested in the lives of her eighth grade girls class. Even though she recently got married, started a new job, and is beginning a whole new stage of life, she is concerned with more than just herself. She wants to pass wisdom on to young believers following in her footsteps. Why am I so proud of Megan and this particular small group?
- This is the pattern of Jesus – to invest personally in a small group.
- Even when we are busy with our own lives we never are supposed to neglect the call to make disciples.
- The focus is on what the bible says to us, not just want we want to hear.
- Relationships really matter for our spiritual health, therefore make good ones.
Surviving High School: What I Wish Someone had Told Me In the summer of 2011, I began teaching a small group of upcoming eighth grade girls. Over the past year, I have grown close to each of these girls, and in the process, inherited the girls in the sixth and seventh grade, as well. As the life group teacher to the middle school girls, I’ve learned a lot about the struggles they go through each day. This fall, I’ll (unwillingly) send my eighth graders to the high school ministry as they begin their freshman year. As I think about this last summer I have with them, I find myself thinking about what I wish someone had told me before I went off to high school. Even more so, what I wish someone had told me when I was in middle school. This summer, in the last weeks with the eighth graders, we will be discussing some different topics as they prepare to go to high school and diving into Scripture with each topic.
- Stand firm in your faith. People will challenge your faith for the rest of your life. Be rooted in what you believe. Maintain a hunger and thirst for God’s Word. Study scripture. Stay involved in church. Participate in Bible studies. Know what you believe- because you will be tested for the rest of your life.
- Don’t let popularity stop you from sharing Jesus. Often times in high school, I let my desire to be “popular” or “cool” hinder me from sharing Jesus. What I didn’t realize then is that popularity doesn’t matter after high school (it doesn’t matter inhigh school). What matters now is the people I went to school with still don’t know Jesus- and I had every opportunity to tell them about Him.
- Surround yourself with friends who point you to Christ. I was blessed to meet my best friends when I was in the eighth grade. A group of five girls who loved Jesus more than they loved anyone or anything else, and they held me accountable. Our relationship’s foundation was built around Christ, and we pointed each other to Him when we had a problem. We went through a lot in high school- illnesses, parents dying, fears of families moving- but we shared a friendship that was deeper than most. At 21 years old, they are still my closest friends.Girls, I want you to have these kinds of friendships. I want you to have friends that point you to Jesus in hard times, rejoice with you in good times, and love you despite your faults.
- Guard your heart. It’s so easy to desire affection and love from boys when you’re in high school. We crave the desire and and longing. Girls, be protective of your heart. Every crush, hug, and kiss gives a piece of your heart away. Even more so, guard your most precious inner beauty. Understand how sacred your purity is- and that it’s only meant for your husband.
- Cherish your family. Girls, one day- sooner than you imagine- you will be moving away from home. You will be leaving for college, taking a job in a different city, or marrying your best friend and starting a family of your own. At this point in your life, I know it seems like light years away, but it will be here faster than you know. Cherishthis time with your family. Go on family vacations, go shopping with your mom, and have family game nights.
- Look in the mirror…and smile. God created you. Your curvy figures, crooked teeth, the color of your eyes and hair, the length of your legs…God made you. Even as a twin…you are one of a kind. Psalm 139:14 say, “I will praise You because I have been remarkable and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well.” God did not make a mistake when He created you- don’t tell Him that He did.
Girls, I love you, and I have been so blessed to be your life group leader this past year. I look forward to seeing you each Wednesday and Sunday, and every other opportunity I have to spend with you.
To my sweet eighth graders, I have loved watching you grow spiritually. Although I’ve been your teacher, you all have taught and encouraged me through your lives. I can’t wait to see you grow even more, and I am not ready to give you up.
I wish there were a “LOVE” button! I, too, work with middle school youth. All of these things are vital to their spiritual and emotional development. You are blessed to have this woman as a part of your ministry! 🙂