Kenny and I aren’t hesitant to say that we try to make our Middle School Ministry the most fun place ever. From the second our students walk in the door, to the time they leave, we want them to enjoy being there. We want them to walk away with memories that make them smile and crazy stories that make them laugh and a desire to come back as soon as possible.
Of course fun is not the only thing we want our students to experience. But it’s a big one. Because fun is really, really important. I think having fun should be more than just an afterthought. It should be a priority and a strategy. Not an incidental. Here’s why…
Having fun together helps us know Jesus better. Having fun is a powerful expression and working-out of the joy and freedom and abundant life that we find in Jesus. It’s not trivial. It’s sacred and holy and it makes Jesus smile. We’ve got to model that to our students. They’ve got to see how Jesus is present and involved with their “everyday, ordinary, walking-around life.” By refusing to separate the fun stuff from the spiritual stuff, we help our students learn and practice a holistic kind of faith – one that sees the presence of God in everything. Even (maybe even especially) the fun stuff.
Having fun together helps us not take ourselves too seriously. You know that kid who’s just way too cool (or that leader who’s just way too spiritual) for their own good? Yeah. They really need to stick their feet in Jell-O or launch a giant Angry Bird once in a while.
Having fun together creates community. Laughing, being silly, making memories… those things are absolutely vital to creating a strong community. They force us to let down our guards, give us common ground, build trust, and make us feel like an accepted and valued member of a tribe.
So, yeah. I think having fun is a pretty big deal.