Growing up in a household without any siblings is one of the most defining parts of my child and personal journey. Oftentimes, children are defined by their ranking in the birth order of their family. The oldest usually ends up being the “type A” overachiever while the middle child is constantly striving to be seen and heard. These generalities sometimes come to fruition and other times couldn’t be more wrong. But what about the only child? If you’re the parent of an only child, there’s no comparisons to be made between children. It’s a unique and special opportunity! As an only child, and also one who ADORED being the one and only, I thought I’d share a few of my observations from my own journey to provide insight on what it means to guide an only child toward Christ.
I would say that one of the top questions I get asked by parents on a regular basis is “how do I talk to my student about…?” Talking to middle school students sometimes feels like one of the most intimidating things you can do, especially if it is on a hot topic issue. First off, I want to assure you that you are not alone in your struggle to start a conversation with your student. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent and it doesn’t mean that you don’t know your own child. Just as your student is growing and changing, so is your relationship. You both have come so far from your conversations being, “don’t touch that!” or “that wasn’t kind.” Now, there’s bigger issues on the table and way more questions and negotiating to be done. You now have the amazing and joyous opportunity to start having conversations about your student’s faith and personal relationship with Jesus. And they now can actually communicate things back to you in pretty adult ways sometimes! That’s huge! But it’s also really scary. I know many of you will immediately read this and say, “I can’t get my student to talk to me about what they did at school. How am I supposed to talk to them about God?” Stay with me here and let me share with you a few tips I’ve picked up along the way!
Our staff always loves to hear the stories of other peoples’ journeys and how they ended up where they are at in life. For the next few months, we are going to be sharing parts of our stories so you can get to know each of us and how we ended up here at Asbury and in Student Ministry! So here’s a little bit about me…
Before we know it, the school year will be upon us once again! Every fall, big transitions happen for students at just about every level. Some of the big ones of course are those big jumps from 5th to 6th grade, 8th to 9th, and 12th to college. The fun part about transitions is that on top of their natural tendency to disrupt daily life, every single one of your students handles transition differently! How fun! And on top of that, every change has its own fallout.
It’s possible that some of you have heard our staff say the words “oh, we use Orange curriculum” or “we’ll have an Orange lesson video in small groups” before and wondered, “WHAT IN THE WORLD IS ORANGE?”
Asbury Students is blessed with so many multi-generational leaders who serve in multiple facets while also helping others follow Jesus outside the walls of Asbury. Kylee Broadhurst is a familiar face to many people throughout Asbury. Serving as the modern worship leader on Sunday mornings in the 11 am service allows Kylee to be someone that many people see whether it’s their first time at Asbury or their hundredth. Kylee’s heart to serve and lead is seen even outside of Asbury’s Sanctuary. Kylee has served the last two years as a small group leader for an awesome group of girls with her mom Kim Broadhurst. Kylee’s heart for their small group shines through each and every week. She has also answered the call to serve as a nurse and leader on multiple retreats and mission trips. No matter what she is doing, Kylee has a carrying and fun-loving attitude that always points Asbury Students toward following Jesus and encourages the other leaders around her.
The world looks different for all of us right now, especially our students. Emma Martin is an 8th grader who goes to Broken Arrow. Here’s what she has been up to during quarantine:
Asbury Students are blessed with the absolute best volunteers in the world! During quarantine, we definitely have missed our students, but we are also missing the amazing adults who help make every week in student ministries happen as well! Volunteers help us make sure that even more students get individual and focused attention on a weekly basis. This week, I want to give a shout out to Ginny Martin and Ashley Krieg. It is pretty unlikely to walk into student ministry programming or to an event and not see one, or both, of these awesome women! Whether it is filling up pop, greeting outside, or leading their 6th grade small group, Ginny and Ashley give it 100% every time.
During this time of isolation and uncertainty, connection has been harder to have on a regular basis. In order to keep up with work, school, and just personal relationships as a whole, people have turned to all types of technology. Zoom appears to be the prime mode of conversation for groups of people looking for a face-to-face connection, even if it has to be through a screen!