On a middle school campus

Posted on: 12/11/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

This semester I’ve had the privilege of hanging out at a middle school just 14 minutes from my house and we’re getting ready to start a campus ministry reaching the campus… but it’s not easy.

I met the principle earlier this year when I was doing research for my bullying book. I love this guy. He’s an amazing educator who is more “encourager” than “disciplinarian”… the school is so lucky to have him. I got to know him a little better when he brought me out to teach my Parenting the Smartphone Generation workshop to the school’s parents, and I’ve been hanging out on campus about once a week with him during lunch since.

One day I mentioned that it would be cool to see a Campus Life or Young Life club on campus and he welcomed the idea. So I literally walked into the church across the street, met the youth pastor and said, “Do you want to help me reach this campus?”

That was about two months ago and now this church is partnering with Campus Life and myself to try to get something started.

Here’s the difficult part: even though we have an open invitation to hang out with kids at lunch on campus, we can’t invite them to church or Campus Life. I’m not blaming the principal… I’m not even upset at him. He’s actually protecting us. Because if we were walking around the campus passing out fliers for this “Christian club,” all it would take is one phone call from a parent to the district office and every positive mentor with access to that campus would be removed for the year (something we’ve talked about quite a bit on our CAMPUS MINISTRY CORNER resource page on TheSource4YM.com). Kids can invite other kids, but we can’t.

So that’s the challenge. We need to meet some kids (which we know a few from the church across the street), and have theminvite friends to Campus Life… and once we have a momentum of about a dozen kids… kids bring more kids, then it will build momentum.

Today we were on campus hanging with kids again… not talking about church or Campus Life, just hanging out (which is really fun, actually). But we’re eager to start building momentum and meeting even more kids in January.

I’ll be keeping you posted along the way. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of amusing stories of things that don’t work(which are always great lessons).

And think. Maybe the campus near you would be open to you being on campus and getting to know kids. Who knows. Only one way to find out (and here’s a little bit of help in this article, “How to get on campus”).

What are you waiting for?

2 Replies to “On a middle school campus”

  1. Jonathan – way to go. I know you didn’t post this to get a pat on the back, but thank you for encouraging us all to get out and build relationships and make a difference. I know for myself too often I fill my time inside the church and miss out on reaching out to those not yet here. Thanks for the challenge and for leading us by your example! Praying for great things to happen where you are at and throughout your network of influence!

  2. There are so many open doors. If we quit yelling at the closed ones and starting walking through the open ones, we’d all be a lot better off!

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