One of the things I love about junior high ministry is the constant quest for a fun new game, activity, event etc. I certainly don't believe that in order to have an effective junior high ministry you have to always have something newer, bigger or better than the week before, but I do like trying to keep things fresh and fun for students.
A question I have been asked a thousand times and one I've asked myself just as often is: "How do we decide what to do....and what NOT to do?"
I'm not talking about the big events and activities that are well planned out and put on the calendar months ahead of time, but rather the little games, skits, spontaneous activities and the like that we find ourselves doing week in and week out. In my experience, it's the little things that can get us into the most hot water if we're not careful. So, any time we're planning a game for a program, or someone on our team has a spur-of-the-moment idea we try to run it through a very simple little filter:
1) Is it age-appropriate? Is it over their head? Will they 'get it?' etc.
2) Does it dishonor anybody? I don't want to dishonor scripture, Christ, nerdy kids, jocks, tall kids, heavy kids etc.
3) Can we defend it? When a parent, church elder or senior pastor asks us why we played that game, watched that movie etc. do we have a defense that will satisfy?
We still make some mistakes and have done some stuff we probably shouldn't have, but this filter really has served us well....when we take the time to utilize it!