A Crash Course on Middle Schoolers


I don’t know how you found yourself working with middle schoolers. 

Maybe you took the job as the youth pastor, really because you wanted to work with high schoolers, but middle schoolers were part of the package deal. 

Maybe you were hired into middle school ministry because you are brand new to ministry and that’s the spot they want to start you in. 

Or maybe you chose it!

No matter the reason you are leading middle school ministry, you are here. And if you want to lead well with what you have been entrusted with, you will need to dig in and learn as much as you can about the middle school phase. 


Because when you really understand the way a middle schooler thinks, relates, processes, and connects, it changes the way you are able to reach them. It shapes every decision you make about your programming and the people you invite into it. 

When you really understand middle schoolers, you will better be able to relate to and reach them where they are right now (Let's be honest, middle schoolers are changing extremely fast and culture even faster. Which means even those of us who have worked with middle schoolers for 10+ years are still on the crash course ourselves)


Here are some resources I suggest you start with:

Read these books:

Check out these BLOGS:

Listen to these podcasts:

Watch these movies:

Explore these YouTube channels:

Other Suggestions:

  • Go observe a minimum of 10 different middle school services at different churches, led by different people. Take notes.
  • Ask to sit in a planning meeting or production meeting prior to the service you are observing to learn from the process and filters they think through. 
  • Check out any Youth Ministry or Adolescent Development courses on iTunes University. 
  • Volunteer or apply to substitute teach at the local middle school.  
  • Coach a middle school sports team

What other resources would you add to this list? I'd love to know!

Ashley Bohinc