Editor’s Note—Because of the coronavirus, Easter will look a little different in 2020. So we’re helping churches and families adjust to this new reality with a newly reimagined Easter Jam resource. You can download this at-home Easter experience for the whole family now!
One of the points we repeatedly try to drive home about youth is–every phase is different. And because every phase is different, you have to approach kids in a way that’s unique to what they’re experiencing during that phase.
As we always say, it’s not your job to redefine God at every phase. But it is your job to help kids rediscover God in new ways during each phase.
So, if you have a middle school child, or if you’ve ever worked with middle schoolers, you know that they’re constantly challenging things–whether it’s questioning your choice for dinner or expressing doubt about what’s right and wrong. Middle schoolers challenge everything.
So, as we step into the month of April, with Easter right around the corner, you might get a few questions about the truth of the Easter story. How should you respond?
Approach this as the amazing opportunity it is. You have an opportunity to leverage the miraculous Easter story to influence kids’ faith and help them develop a dynamic view of God.
Middle schoolers thrive off affirmation. Even when they’re questioning something, they need to know their opinion is valid. They may ask questions like:
- “Why would a caring God send His Son to die?”
- “Did Jesus really come back from the dead?”
You might not know the answer to every question, and that’s okay. The key is to keep from acting like you do. Kids this age will sniff that out in a second.
You simply want them to know their questions are valid. Again, it comes back to affirmation.
In addition, don’t make the mistake of introducing them to a “fixed” view of God. We see this too often with youth leaders. It’s the idea that once you meet God, that’s it. You know Him. The problem with that is kids grow, mature, and change–and, with that, their perspective and life experiences change.
If they have a view of God that’s too fixed–when something comes along and challenges who they think God is, then God may seem like a lie. Whether it’s Easter or any other time of year, you want to leverage these opportunities to help them develop a dynamic, not fixed, view of God.
Remember, you don’t have to know all the answers. It’s more important to simply be consistent, while continuing to affirm middle schoolers at every opportunity.
This Easter season is a great chance to do just that.