An Exciting, Strange Day

Today is the day. I've been waiting for it since I began working with junior high students back in 1988. It's always seemed so far off but, in reality, arrived in what seems like a blink of the eye. Today my oldest child, Kayla, is 'graduating' from 6th grade and officially entering the world of junior high. It also happens to be her 12th birthday which makes it a pretty significant day for her. I know all dads say this but I am so proud of her and am thrilled by her journey thus far into young womanhood. The next two years will, I'm sure, be a wild, wonderful ride as we get to experience together what I've so confidently helped other families experience for the past 18 years. For some reason, I no longer feel like an expert....just a fellow journeyer!


Bethany said...

My dad was my youth minister as well, so I just wanted to give you a few words.

She looks up to you more than any other student will, and more than she'll ever let on to.

Let her in on some of the "inside secrets" of the church. As you handle tough situations your actions and words will teach her some of the most valuable lessons: that the people of the church are human and therefore imperfect; that God relies on us to show his grace to others no matter how much they've offended us; and that God WILL provide everything his children need.

However, don't shatter her image of her leaders. Remember that your pastor is also hers. (Just a figure of speech, nothing against Rick W.!)

Encourage her to use her spiritual gifts. If she's gifted in leadership, don't be afraid that people will think you're just favoring your daughter. God will set them straight.

Remember that she's a teenager. She's going to do something stupid! (I once got into a fist fight with another girl in front of my dad!) When she does mess up, treat her like any other student while in public. Don't favor her, or be overly harsh. She should get the same disciplinary actions as any other student. Usually when I screwed up at church, my dad didn't bring it up again when we got home. If it's not something you would tell a parent, leave it at church.

Know that the other students are looking to you to learn what a Godly father is. Be her youth minister, but don't stop being her father in public.

May God bless you in this new adventure!

Joshua Griffin said...

Congrats, Kayla! JG

kurtjohnston said...

Bethany...thanks a TON for taking the time to offer such great insight. I'm going to print it off and put a copy someplace safe!

Josh said...

Bethany, I going to do the same. Print it off and use it. Thats good stuff.

Ro-Honda said...

She'll be a lot less scared of you than I was!!! :-)

I do so miss Hans and Frans tho!!!