In this episode, Ashley Bohinc gives some practical and applicable practices to implement around communicating with middle schoolers. Ashley shares several key points from her new book which is focused on this topic and directs us toward some free resources to help leaders get better in this lane of ministry.

Ashley Bohinc

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Episode Notes

What do people need to know and understand about middle schoolers before they begin communicating?

  • Who we are talking to should change the way it's presented
  • Know them developmentally AND culturally
    • Culturally – the way they communicate with one another, and what things capture their attention within culture
    • Developmentally – they way they are changing physically, emotionally,
  • Surround yourself with people who are culturally in the trenches with middle schoolers

How do you develop content for middle schoolers?

  • Take time – organize your thoughts – see them play out before you present
  • Develop the “pieces”
    • Connect the dots
    • Make the clear transitions
    • Scriptures: the breakdown of the words, explanation of the content/context, making abstract ideas more tangible
    • Think about the sequence of learning (is that the next question they are thinking about)
    • Do you need to read the entire passage? Can you summarize the content and only read key verses?

When you communicate, how do you keep their attention?

  • Expectation is everything
  • It's a lot like bull-riding; when you fight the movement of the bull, you don't stay on as long, but if you surrender to the movement, you will last the full 8-seconds
    • It's more of an art than it is a science
    • What works for someone else may not work for you
  • Plan for them to TALK at some point
  • Keep their interest by keeping them involved
  • Use “re-engaging” techniques

How do you get others involved in the process?

  • Build a teaching team and a feedback team
  • Find people who are passionate about middle schoolers, not just passionate about “teaching”
  • Recruit people with different learning/communicating styles

Action Items

  1. Read the book with a team
  2. Start message run through / debrief process
  3. Train up student volunteers, especially girls, to teach

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Special Sponsor: Clearstream

This episode is sponsored by Clearstream. works with thousands of churches worldwide and integrates with tools your church already uses such as MailChimp, Church Community Builder, Rock RMS, Planning Center, and more. You can get started on a free-trial, and if you're with a new church plant under 1 year old can use Clearstream free for 12 months.