A Dynamic View of God: Helping Kids Connect with God at Every Phase

Imagine going to a U2 concert with a group of toddlers.

Or buying tickets to see Yo Gabba Gabba with a middle school group.

Or watching Barry Manilow with all 3rd-grade boys.

Hopefully, you’ve never done any of these things. Musicians, even great musicians, play for a specific audience. Not everyone relates to country music, or hip hop, or jazz. That doesn’t make those genres less inspiring. It just means the musician has to know more than music if they hope to connect with their audience.

The same is true if you want to help kids and teenagers connect with their Creator. Kids at every phase have been made in the image of God with the ability to know God.

Your job is not to redefine God at every phase, but your job is to help kids rediscover God in a new way at each phase. Continue reading “A Dynamic View of God: Helping Kids Connect with God at Every Phase”

Voices of the Phase Project :: Tom Shefchunas

You know you’re talking to a phase expert when they answer the “Why is this the most important phase?” question with a smile and a simple “because it is.”

Tom Shefchunas has not only the gift of simplification and sarcasm, he is actually one of the smartest leaders we know when it comes to understanding the world of middle school. Shef has passion unlike any other for creating a safe place where every middle schooler knows they belong. His life mission to do for a few what he wishes he could do for everyone may be one reason he is able to lead a ministry that reaches over 3,000 middle schoolers every week.

35 Reasons My Middle Schooler Might Be Freaking Out

Just this past week I stumbled across Jason Good’s 46 Reasons My Three-Year-Old Might Be Freaking Out.

  1. His socks are on wrong.
  2. His lip tastes salty.
  3. His shirt has a tag on it.
  4. The car seat is weird. . .
    (Read the rest of the list on Jason’s blog.)

The first thing I thought when I read the list was how much I wanted to share it with anyone I know who has a preschooler. Because let’s be honest, this is exactly what it’s like to live with a three-year-old.

The next thing I thought was (and I’m not sure why), “I wonder what this list sounds like for the parent of a middle schooler?” Since three-year-olds and eleven-year-olds have a few similarities, I texted a few of my friends who spend a lot of time around middle schoolers, Elle Campbell and Dan Scott, and we pulled together this follow up list.

35 Reasons My Middle Schooler Might Be Freaking Out

  1. I woke her up on time.
  2. Her school won’t let her wear leggings as pants.
  3. I drive a mini van.
  4. Zayn left One Direction.
  5. I don’t know which one Zayn is. Continue reading “35 Reasons My Middle Schooler Might Be Freaking Out”

Voices of the Phase Project :: Brooklyn Lindsey

Every middle schooler needs someone to affirm their personal journey. Maybe that’s why after 16 years in middle school ministry affirmation is part of Brooklyn’s second nature. Even if she wasn’t an expert on the mind and world of adolescence, even if she wasn’t a skilled communicator, even if she didn’t have a passion for connecting teens to consistent service opportunities, I might keep Brooklyn on speed dial just because.

Here’s what Brooklyn Lindsey had to say when we asked her a few questions about the Middle School Phases.