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Maybe you think fun couldn’t possibly be strategic. Or maybe you think there’s nothing fun about strategy. But we actually think fun and strategy can be pretty good friends. In this breakout from The Orange Conference 2016, Kenny and I talk about why fun matters in middle school ministry, what fun looks like for a middle schooler, and how to make fun more strategic in your events and in your weekly program.

MAKING FUN STRATEGIC IN MIDDLE SCHOOL MINISTRY

The Orange Conference 2016

Maybe you’re not convinced there’s anything strategic about fun.

Or maybe you don’t think there’s anything fun about strategy.

But we think the words “fun” and “strategy” can actually get along pretty nicely. In fact, they might even be best friends.

WHY DOES FUN MATTER IN MIDDLE SCHOOL MINISTRY?

FUN OVER TIME…

  • CONVINCES kids you actually like them.
  • BREAKS down walls.
  • MAKES a friendship go deeper.
  • Equals CONNECTION.

So maybe you see how fun can improve relationships in middle school ministry. But how can fun impact the faith of our middle schoolers? Like this:

Middle schoolers CAN’T SEE GOD. But they CAN SEE PEOPLE who follow God. 

This is important because…

God has always USED PEOPLE to demonstrate His story of redemption.

So if you want a middle schooler to believe GOD LOVES THEM, you might want to start by proving YOU LOVE THEM.

And to do that, you might want to start by having a little FUN.

WHAT DOES FUN LOOK LIKE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL?

IN MIDDLE SCHOOL…

  • Keep it MESSY. (Don’t be afraid to get silly when you’re hanging out with a middle schooler.)
  • Spotlight what they can do as a TEAM. (Give them opportunities to support and cheer for each other because middle schoolers need all the support and affirmation they can get.)

IN EVERY PHASE…

  • LOOSEN up. (Have fun with them on their terms.)
  • LEARN what they like. (Contextualize “fun” for your group of students.)
  • LOSE the agenda. (Not everything needs a super spiritual “point” attached to it.)

HOW DO YOU MAKE FUN STRATEGIC IN EVERY PHASE?

FUN IN YOUR EVENTS

If fun over time equals CONNECTION, then you might want to make sure the connections you’re facilitating are STRATEGIC. Have fun that strategically supports your middle schoolers’…

  • Connections with SMALL GROUP LEADERS.
  • Connections with THEIR SMALL GROUPS.
  • Connections with UNCHURCHED PEERS.

FUN IN YOUR WEEKLY PROGRAM

Use the 7 segments to strategically infuse fun into every aspect of what you do.

  1. PRELUDE: Setting the tone for the experience.
  2. SOCIAL: Providing time for fun interaction.
  3. TRANSITIONS: Moving smoothly from one thing to another.
  4. WORSHIP: Inviting people to respond to God.
  5. STORY: Communicating God’s truth in engaging ways.
  6. GROUPS: Creating a safe place to connect.
  7. HOME: Prompting action beyond the experience.

And remember…

FUN OVER TIME EQUALS CONNECTION

So what do you think? How do you make fun more strategic in your ministry? Let’s swap some ideas!