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Audience Changes

I’ve been speaking this week at the Trinity Christian Upper School chapel services.   Wow, what a change.   When your primary audience is grade school students, and you move to High School students it gets scary fast!

What’s so different?

  1. The kids don’t laugh as easily.   It is so much easier to get 500 grade school students laughing, than to get 500 high school students to laugh.   I was rusty with my teenage jokes, but I’m getting better.   They’re a much bigger fan of self-deprecating jokes, and I’m a pro at pointing out my dorkiness publicly.   It’s really a gift.
  2. It’s not like I’m used to using puppets on stage, but I often have something to work with when teaching kids.   When talking for 12 minutes a day with a room full of upper school students, it gets much more tricky to use props.   I’ve elected to go without, and it makes me feel naked to not have something in my hands.
  3. I’ve been using a microphone connected to a cord.   That is strange, when you’re used to headsets.   I’m the ultimate hand talker, always swinging them around and pointing.   Using a corded microphone has forced me to stay in one place and keep my hands down.   (I know, I’m spoiled…)
  4. High school kids are supremely more serious than 3rd grade girls.   Go figure…
  5. I can’t remember the last time I talked to much of any group before 8:30 in the morning.   My brain hasn’t fully woken up, and I’m trying to wake up a room full of equally tired students.   Wonder if I could pass out some 5 hour energy to everyone?
  6. These kids are so much closer to “real life” than most of the students I talk to.   I’ve been forcing myself to remember that many of these kids will be having kids, getting married, finishing college, and setting patterns for the rest of their lives in the next 5 years of living.   That’s scary!

So kudo’s to the Jr. High and Sr. High pastors out there.   Keep up the great work and thanks for being cooler than me, and not rubbing it in!

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


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