I've been hooked ever since.
I've had three groups (not including ones I've been with temporarily) and I still stay in touch with (although not as much as I'd like) most of the guys that I've had the priveledge of leading. Of course, that's not to say that, much like the elevator business, it hasn't had its ups and downs. Editor's Note: That was my granddad's joke. And I love it.
No matter how you personally assemble your small groups, whether they be 8th grade girls or 6th grade boys; no matter how different the group dynamics of each may be, you begin to notice patterns. At least I have. I've had groups from very affluent families and groups from more working class backgrounds. I've had groups from broken homes and groups from very godly, supportive families. But, I somehow always end up with some of the same kids.
In fact, this past Wednesday night, I had a weird déjà vu moment. Even though I haven't been with them in 3 years, it was almost as if I were leading my first small group all over again.
Here are some students that I seem to have in every small group:
Even though there are times when it seems like I can't get control; and I doubt if they're even listening. Even though there are times when I feel like we'd be better off just watching a movie. I wouldn't trade this for all the money in the world.
That's the beauty of Middle School Ministry: you get to see messy, dorky kids who can barely sit still for more than 5 minutes turn into young men and women who love God and want to give Him everything. Editor's Note: Then, you can encourage them to lead a Middle School Small Group. And be there when they come into your office to ask how to deal with The Megaphone!
Just ask Mark Shelley, my youth pastor. He had to deal with a kid who was talkative, smart mouthed, and prideful. Thank God he saw something in me. He pushed me to give more to God; in my relationship with Him and in service. And you'd better believe he was there to laugh the first time I came to him and asked how to deal with a kid who wouldn't stop mouthing off to me...