Middle school is a unique time in the life of a student. It’s also a unique time in the life of their small group leader.

You Might be a Middle School SGL if…

  • Getting to question three on your Small Group Leader Guide is a huge win on any given Sunday.
  • You’ve ever had to talk to your students about using deodorant, “even though your mom doesn’t check on Sunday morning.”
  • You sometimes can’t tell your girls apart because they are all wearing the same thing.
  • You’ve ever packed Red Bull and Silly String for a weekend church retreat.
  • You don’t laugh when people make jokes about the smell of Axe body spray, because it’s no joke to you. It’s real life.
  • You know about how many sodas a student can drink before vomiting.
  • You know about how much candy a student can eat before vomiting.
  • That high pitched scream doesn’t bother you anymore.
  • You’ve met a student’s parents and wondered, How could such a lovely parent raise such an unpleasant child?
  • You have rules in your small group about what you’re allowed to sit on and where you can put your feet.
  • You enjoy being on a thread with 100 messages in 15 minutes. Or you use emojis to continue a conversation.
  • You’ve learned to censor words and phrases in your vocabulary that even remotely sound like they could also be body parts.
  • You think your church’s ventilation system should automatically spray Febreze on Sunday morning.
  • You’ve ever heard a student ask God to reveal “whether or not she like, likes likes me or just like, likes me.
  • You have that kid in your group. Yea, that kid.
  • You believe that, despite their craziness, smelliness, and loudness, middle school students are made in the image of God.
  • You know that middle school students are actually capable of having mature and thoughtful conversations about faith and life.
  • You love leading middle school students, even though most people don’t understand why.

Ok, now it’s your turn. What would you add to this list?

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CJ Palmer

CJ is the Managing Editor for XP3 High School at Orange and one of the hosts and producers of Rethinking Youth Ministry, a podcast raising the bar for student leaders everywhere. CJ has been leading small groups for middle school students at North Point Community Church since 2007, which means he's probably spent more time talking to middle schoolers than adults in his life. He also placed 5th in his 8th grade class field day fun run. CJ and his wife, Teri, live in Alpharetta, Georgia, with their robot vacuum named Barbara.

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