After eight plus years of serving and loving, high schoolers, and being in my "comfort zone" as a Young Life leader,  God is sending me into a middle school. Duh duh duh!

I'm slightly terrified. Okay more than slightly. I've actively avoided this in my time leading Young Life. Nope not gonna do it. I'll leave that to someone more capable because middle schoolers are the hardestt, right? That's what everyone says, right? Can you really have those meaningful conversations with them about God, about faith?  Can they even sit still long enough? Honestly Wyldlife used to feel JV to the "varsity" Young Life. 

But when I moved to this new area and first reached out about leading, this was the obvious need. There might as well have been a flashing neon sign pointing to the school, you couldn't miss it. And I looked for other ways, other schools where I could fit in, and it just didn't happen.  It didn't make sense to join an established, organized team at one of the high schools already running smoothly without my help. And it didn't even make sense to lead at the middle school one block from my house with strong leadership and parent support.  My heart... it was drawn to this relatively forgotten school, often overlooked, and written off as less than. And the school responded better than I ever expected a public school to respond these days, eager and desperate for adults who want to serve and love middle schoolers. Come on in, they said.

So we're starting a new Wyldife club, in an incredibly diverse school.  Basically as far from my area of "expertise" (haha) as possible. Eight years of leading in suburban, mostly white communities, with strong financial support and involved parents, has not prepared me for this.

I am not qualified. At all. Not one little bit. I don't even have any other leaders with me... yet. And I don't want you to think I'm writing this down to say "look at me, look at what I'm doing." No, I'm putting it out there to force myself to feel bold, and to hold myself accountable.

I'm seriously scared to walk into that cafeteria full of middle schoolers I don't know.
And I am seriously excited to see what God does.

"Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,  who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." 2 Corinthians 3:4-6


  1. Shannon, they will love you!! What a blessing for you all. Please keep us posted!

  2. Middle schoolers get a bad rap (I coach a MS cheerleading team) but really? I love them. You see them grow SO MUCH from being new 6th graders (babies) to 8th graders and they are so impressionable, I feel like you can really make a difference at that time of their lives Good luck, you will be great because you are going where He is calling you <3

  3. You go girl!! As a high school teacher, middle schoolers are DEFFINITELY intimidating. But I know God will use you in big ways!!! So excited to hear about the new group starting at that school :)

  4. SHANNON! This was so I fun to read. I'm proud...I'm inspired by your boldness to listen to the Holy Spirit. And I promise to pray for your ministry at this new school! Please add me to any special prayer emails you might have going.

  5. I taught for 6 years and I have to say that I really did love my middle schoolers. Though I only had them for a long term sub position they were super sweet. The perfect combo of elementary (still afraid of teachers) and high school (independent, funny and able to hold conversations)

  6. What a blessing you will be to those middle schoolers. I have taught middle school for many, many years. Yes, there are a different breed, but a most enjoyable breed of youngsters!!! Just be yourself and they will fall in love with you.

  7. Shannon, I totally get that! I didn't like middle schoolers when I WAS one, and it hasn't gotten better with age! It will be exciting to see how God blesses your obedience and your boldness!

  8. Well they will love you. Also, 7th grade? Remember when you told Mrs. M and I it was your favorite year, after we had just finished saying it was our least favorite? You will be a blessing to middle schoolers : ) God prepares us for where He leads us. xo


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