3 Easy Ways to Impact a Middle Schooler’s Identity and Faith

Orange Leaders | 11/15/2019 | The Phase Project
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11, 12, 13. These are the awkward years. You remember right? Greasy hair, frizzy hair, don’t care. Weight gain and weight loss. You feel like an adult but everyone treats you like a kid.

Life for a middle schooler is rough. Forget trying to figure out who you are in Christ. Preteens are hanging onto the struggle bus for dear life.

Course - School - Drama - Everything - Years

Of course you now know that middle school drama, like everything else, won’t matter in a few short years. With the right approach you can help preteens focus on things that really count.

What is a Middle Schooler, Anyway?

Time - Performance - Schooler—complete - Tears - Course—consider

The next time you take in an all-star performance from a middle schooler—complete with tears, of course—consider this: behind those emotions is a brain hard at work analyzing, processing and planning the next move.

What we’re talking about is a duality of sorts—the middle schooler you see and the middle schooler you don’t see.

Middle - Schooler

The Middle Schooler You See

He’s growing like a weed and eating all of your groceries.


She’s happy one moment and crying the next.

He’s embarrassed easily and often by you.


She knows everything.

He lies and argues more than ever before.

Friends - Always - Friends

She wants to be with her friends. Always with her friends.

He loves to learn and be challenged.

She wants to know if you care.

He needs to talk about his feelings, even when his face says otherwise.


She wrestles with decisions big and small.

He’s starting to view the world through the eyes of others.

Adult - Influence

She longs for non-parental adult influence.

When it comes to helping these complex creatures understand who they are in Christ, you have to remember the middle schooler you don’t see. The engineer inside needs to know that God can do anything. That He can overcome impossible odds to rebuild what is broken, bring stability, restore peace, resolve doubt, give hope, and redeem everyone—including themselves.


Make some big...
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