Check out how much joy this guy has in seeing the rainbow….no, it’s a double rainbow!

Posted By Kurt Johnston

This is the first official post of the new “Junior High Ministry” blog that I have been mentioning for quite some time. You may have noticed that the look changed a week ago, but we have been having some server problems and my house has been semi-flooded so those two challenges have slowed things down….until now!

Here’s the deal: is now and will hopefully evolve (the look and layout of this site is still being tweaked) into a place for junior high youth workers to come for some insight, ideas and inspiration. I’ve asked several people to contribute to this blog on a regular basis to ensure both a good amount of new postings as well as providing some varied perspectives.

We will post more official bios of the contributors sometime soon, but here is a brief overview:

Junior High Ministry Stuff: Myself, Scott Rubin, Heather Flies, Katie Edwards and Johnny Scott.

“The Doctor Is In”: This will be an occassional post by Tim Levert, a youth ministry veteran in Ohio who happens to have a PhD in youth ministry. Hopefully, his stuff will be a bit “smarter” than what the rest of us write!

“My Rookie Season”: My friend, Jared Moine, has just started his first full-time junior high ministry position at a church in the DC area. He will ocassionally write and chronicle his first year journey.

“In Review”: Mark Eades, a junior high Pastor in Iowa, will write an ocassional book, article, resource review.

My prayer is that will become a place you visit on a regular basis to encourage you in your junior high ministry journey.

Sweet Poetry

Neely McQueen —  July 5, 2010 — Leave a comment

I asked a few of my small groups to consider writing a poem about being a girl- I thought it could be insightful, useful and fun.
Not even 15 minutes later- one of my girls sent me her poem via facebook. It made me laugh out loud. So, I asked her if I could share it here and she said yes.

Boys, boys, the problems they cause,
Breaking and entering our hearts.
Sooner or later we will have to go through menopause,
Oh, don’t we just love our lady parts!
Although you and friends may fight a lot,
Things always work out in the end.
You may feel that you always get caught,
But don’t fret the problem will mend.
High school will come around soon enough,
That is where the fun will start,
The guys are finally large and buff,
Watch out though they also burp and fart.
In the end being a girl is great,
It was meant to be your fate.
(By: Bri -16)

Weekend Teaching Series: Trinity (series finale, week 3 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: A focus on the 3rd person of the Trinity (3 Persons = 1 God).
Service Length: 75 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend’s message focused on the 3rd person of the Trinity: God the Spirit. We’ve taught about him before, but it was fun to do a message on who He is and what is the significance of Him in our lives as followers of Jesus. The main passage was from Galatians 5. We talked about the Holy Spirit regenerating, guiding, correcting and sealing believers. As always, teaching theological depth to an entry-level crowd is one of the biggest challenges – in addition to a short week of prep because we were getting ready for HSM Summer Camp and coming off a sweet staff retreat.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This whole series we’ve done Minute to Win It games, and this week we enjoyed another simple but fun game. We played a clip from Kung Fu Panda (a part to illustrate the Spirit) and Filled with the Spirit – one of Jake’s classic music videos gave the service a strong start.

Music Playlist: You’ll Come, King of All Days, Consuming Fire, Our God, You Are Here

Favorite Moment: At the end of the message I challenged students to nail their sins to the cross and be filled with the Spirit. We had a cross on stage and invited students down to write their confessions and sins on paper and attach them to the cross. The idea was to help them make the first step in dealing with their sin and the nature that is in opposition to the Spirit. Really powerful ending to the talk – and going through them all after each service was really powerful/insightful, too.

Up Next: 5 Ways to be Awesome (a study through James) [week 1 of 5]

We’re giving birth to our first HSM Summer Camp – Phil bought this fun cake to celebrate. We leave in the morning – here we go!


Wrapping up our Trinity series this weekend – how could we talk about God the Spirit and not play this little gem? The original Jake Rutenbar brilliance, long before Not Fair or I’ve Seen it All.


Every year, the student ministry team gets away for a couple of days for a little getaway to refresh and gear up for the year ahead. It always comes at the perfect time. Here’s a few reasons you might need a little retreat, too:

GO OFFLINE: Really, no email
How often do you go a day without even having your phone on you? I am so attached I instinctively check it like an electronic tether every minute or so. Not this week! Email, calls, even texting on an extrememly limited basis. Just what I needed … a little break from the noise. I only Twittered once!

STAY LONGER: An excuse to stay an extra day with my wife … and the kids
I stayed an extra night with my wife, and two extra nights with the kids and the in-laws. My wife takes the brunt of student ministry’s pace, so some extra time away with her and then the family joining us was really special. Lots and lots of pool time.

WORK AHEAD: We leave for camp in 24 hours
We’re taking a ton of students to camp this summer – couldn’t be more excited about that – we leave July 5th. So did that stand in the way of a real retreat? Honestly, it was difficult to NOT think about camp every once in a while. It is such a critical part of our summer emphasis and a big deal, but we did our best. The team worked hard to make sure we didn’t have to work hard at the retreat.

READ UP: Devour a good book
OK, so I brought 4 books along with to read … and didn’t read any of them! I was too busy spending time with people, sleeping and watching World Cup. Oh well, it’s the thought that counts!

Feels good! Now off to teach 4 services and leave for camp. Here we go!


I’m very excited to announce today a new addition to the HSM team here at Saddleback — Aaron Crumbey (AC) is joining our staff to serve High School students here in Orange County. He was a key volunteer in our small groups before joining on as full-time staff last week. Very excited to welcome him, Sandra and their two kids to the High School Ministry team!