Remember Junior High?

MSDSAAN EC012A couple of things today got me to thinking about my junior high years. Today is my birthday, but I also started reading Kurt Johnston’s book Middle School Ministry Made Simple. I picked it up for $3.99 – it’s still that price so you should grab one!

In the opening chapter, Johnston encourages the readers to think back to their junior high years. He says it is helpful as we work with junior high students to remember we were a junior high student at one time, too! It was interesting to kind of think back to my years at Memorial Park Middle School and remember what those days were like.

Johnston pointed to a website – – that provides the top news and entertainment stories of any given year. I looked up some of the highlights of my 8th grade year in middle school (1981-1982). Here are a few:

President – Ronald Reagan
Super Bowl – San Francisco d. Cincinnati
World Series – St. Louis Cardinals d. Milwaukee Brewers
NBA Championship – LA Lakers d. Philadelphia 76ers
NCAA Basketball Championship – North Carolina d. Georgetown
John Belushi died of a drug overdose
Michael Jackson released Thriller
Popular moves were E.T. and Tootsie
MTV began airing music videos

Kind of wild to see what was popular then and what has changed. So, what do you remember from your junior high years?

Annual Report

Each year we put together an annual report for our church family. It recounts what took place in the past year and includes reports from ministers, the elders, financial records and other things.

It is a challenge each year to boil down the previous 12 months onto 8 1/2 x 11 pieces of paper. This year was no different. I took a look at my calendar and reviewed some of the things we did. It was kind of funny, because some of the events seemed like they were a couple years ago, rather than just a few months ago.

I think the report should remind us that what we do matters. I know there is the expression that just because you have a lot of motion, your aren’t necessarily going anywhere. As I look back at the year I have to conclude (or hope at least) that what we do does make some difference. A highlight for us the last couple of years has been our small groups. We have more students involved this year than we ever had. I will take that as a win!

The report also reminds me how fast time goes. That seems so cliché, yet true. The months seem to scroll by faster and faster. I think we do need to take time to celebrate what good things have happened and learn from what didn’t go so well.

As we move toward wrapping up this calendar year, it will be good to both celebrate and reflect and also trust that God will take our efforts and use them in a way that only He can.