Middle School Ministry Teaching Plan

Posted: September 1, 2012 in junior high ministry, middle school ministry, teaching
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One of the cool things that you can do with a WordPress blog is track the search terms that people type in to end up finding this blog. It fascinates me, really. From “how do you know if a middle schoolers is in love” to “middle school youth group names,” I’ve seen it all! But one topic that consistently comes up is “middle school teaching plan.” Now, I don’t know what these searchers have in mind specifically, but it makes me think of a long-term scope-and-sequence plan for teaching. I think this a really important topic to discuss as we lead our ministries.

At Southland we are in the process of creating a long-term teaching plan for our middle school ministry. This will eventually end up answering the question, “What are those things we want every middle schooler to learn before moving on to high school?” With our long-term vision in mind – to develop students who walk with Jesus, in community, and on mission – I asked our team the following three questions to start the process:

  1. What topics do we need to teach every year in middle school ministry?
  2. What topics do we need to teach at least every three years in middle school ministry?
  3. What “felt-need” topics do we need to be aware of in order to teach as necessary?

Here is the rough draft of what we have so far:

Topics we have to cover every year:
Identity
Worship
Love, Dating, and Relationships
The Gospel Message
Who is God?

Topics we’d like to cover every 3 years:
The Church
Decision-Making
Prayer
Justice & Compassion
The Bible
Dealing with Family
Friendships/Community
Character Issues
End Times
Missions – Global & Local
The Life of Jesus
Evangelism/Sharing Faith
Materialism/Consumerism/Greed

Topics that are “felt-need” and require our attention to determine when it needs to be addressed:
Bullying
Media Usage

Now, before anyone gets upset and starts telling me that we need to teach “the gospel message” and “the Bible” every week, let me assure you that we do. I always ask whoever is teaching to connect the topic to Jesus and the cross. I also give them the biblical text from which to speak. Those “topics” are merely opportunities to focus on the gospel message and the Bible by themselves. Additionally we could teach on the different genres of the Bible and how to understand the Old Testament, for example.

So what would you add? What would you change? I know we are not perfect in our thinking, so I’d love to hear what you are doing in your ministry. Or as a parent, what would you like to see your student learn?

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Comments
  1. Good ideas. Starting a series this week: Bullies from the Bible.

    • Paul, that’s awesome. Do you mind sharing what narratives or other Scripture you’re using? The other day I was reading some scripture (Psalm 56:1-13), and the Message version really connects it to the bullying idea. Wrote it down for future use!

  2. ypadam says:

    Great stuff! I would move friendship to the every year teaching calendar. We have taught on friendship every year in our middle school ministry, and it’s usually one of our students favorite series that we do.

    • Adam, that’s actually a great idea. I usually try to incorporate friendship into the yearly “love and relationships” series so that our students understand that not every relationship they have has to be romantic (especially those 6th grade boys who really don’t care about dating yet). But I like the idea of having friendship as its own series.

  3. Dan says:

    Awesome, there needs to be more people organizing and teaching with a plan in mind!! Here is our scope and sequence. Feel free to use it however you like! (http://jrhighuthguy.blogspot.com/p/lessons.html)

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