Junior High or Middle School ministry typically engages those in 5th through 8th grade. Junior High ministry gives young people a chance for age appropriate Christian education and Christ-centered connection with peers and supportive adults. It should also assist in helping pre-teens engage in worship and the overall life of the church.
It is during this age that young people begin to examine their identity apart from their parents. Young people can grow in the baptismal identity and how their faith impacts their vocations of family member, student, athlete, artist and more. At this age, young people move from concrete to abstract thinking and begin more individually connecting with social media. It is also when most congregations take young people through the Rite of Confirmation.
Resources for Pre-Teens/Junior High Ministry
After study and research, LCMS Youth Ministry has developed seven practices of healthy youth ministry. Any congregation can develop these healthy practices regardless of size, location, or resources. Parents, pastors, commissioned ministers, church staff or volunteers all can contribute to supporting and engaging pre-teens during this critical time in their lives.
The seven practices of healthy youth ministry are:
- Engaged parents
- Supportive adults
- Warmth, challenge, and grace
- Opportunities to serve and lead
Congregations help each young person…
- Deeply understand their baptismal faith
- Develop a resilient identity in Christ
- Live out their unique vocation
Junior High ministry can be a place where these practices meet the specific needs of pre-teens today.