classic middle school ministry moment

last night in my 7th grade guys small group (which went great last night), we were talking about jesus’ comment that we’re his sheep and no one can ‘snatch us out of his hand’. and there were three little case studies i was using to check for understanding. the first was about a girl named charlotte who’d gone to a party and drank and had another and before she realized it she was drunk. she was overwhelmed with guilt and felt like jesus couldn’t love her anymore, and wondered if she could even be a christian anymore.

admitadly, it was a pretty simple case study, coming out of our discussion on assurance. the next two case studies were a bit more nuanced — this one was just an on-ramp.

but i had a total flashback to a time i’d used the same little case study when teaching in front of our whole group on a sunday morning a few years ago. i’d read the case study, then asked the group what they would tell charlotte.

a hand shot up. i pointed to her, and the girl responded, “i’d tell her, ‘jesus still loves you, even though you’re not a christian anymore.'”

i said, “uh… ok… any other thoughts?”

another hand shot up. i pointed to the “ooh-oohing” girl in the front row and she said, with a massive smile on her face, “i’d tell her my name is charlotte too!”

at this point i was getting a bit frustrated, both with the responses, and with my own obvious need to get ‘the right answer’.

one of the pastor’s daughters sighed really loudly, thrust her hand in the air with a whole-body frustration (at me, at her peers), and said, with a bored ‘here’s the answer you’re looking for’ voice, “i’d tell her jesus still loves her and forgives her.”


4 thoughts on “classic middle school ministry moment”

  1. On a mission trip in Uganda, my husband was talking to a group of men trying to relay this same message of forgiveness and how we cannot be “grasped out of His hand”. His object lesson was his wedding band. He explained that it was a symbol of his marriage to me, but if he took it off, he would still be married. So, he proceeded to take off the wedding ring and then asked, “Now, am I still married to her?” (pointing to me). ALL of the men in the group said in unison, “No you aren’t”. My response??? PUT THE RING BACK ON! I didn’t want anyone getting the idea that I was available! ha! Funny (and sad) how things are interpreted in scripture. great post!

  2. Isnt this always the challenge though.

    Half the kids that are bored by the basics like that by the time they are in middle school, and the other half who it is all new to.

  3. is not this the perfect example of why we do youth ministry. ok, looking beyond the call from God to do ministry, it’s these moments of pure reality that just keeps us going!

  4. my name is charlotte and I DO NOT HAVE A DRINKING PROBLEM!!!! it is under control.. i wish you and your “church” blog would quit using me as an example.

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