I'm typing this from the backseat as we head to Mexico...the wording of this post may be as bumpy as my ride!
Beginning today, I'm starting a feature I'll call 'Junior High Ministry 101'. Once a week or so, Junior High Ministry 101 will feature a short, simple junior high ministry tip, trick, training or tid-bit. If you're a seasoned vet, you probably won't learn anything new, but you may glean something now and then that you can pass on to others.
This usually surprises people when they hear it, but I really like officiating memorials and funerals. It's not because I like crisis, it's not because I feel gifted in grief counseling and it's not because I like wearing dark suits. The reason I like officiating funerals is because it is a reminder to me that a key to ministry is simply being willing to show up in people's lives. The truth of the matter is that I don't like crisis at all, I don't enjoy grief counseling and I hate suits. BUT, I do like showing up, and I've discovered that the best ministry happens when your willing to simply show up.
I don't know how well equipped you feel for your role as a junior high youth woker. I don't know how much training you get from your church or how many Y.S. conventions you've attended. I do know, however, that none of that stuff makes as big a difference in the life of a junior higher as simply showing up!
Show Up at a baseball game
Show Up at a school play
Show Up when they get their tonsils removed
Show Up when they need a little extra attention
There's nothing easy about junior high ministry...there's lots to it. But it is pretty simple to make a big impact in your students lives just by showing up.