Every person in this world has a mix of good habits and bad habits. Our good habits might help us stay healthy or make wise choices or be a trustworthy friend. And our bad habits might take us down roads that lead to unwise choices, dangerous addictions, or broken friendships.

These six habits are designed to help students in grades 5-8 develop some healthy habits—habits that will draw you closer to Jesus and keep your lives centered on him. And these six habits come together to form the easily remembered acronym of HABITS.

  • H – Hanging Out with Jesus
  • A – Attending Church
  • B – Being Generous
  • I – Investing in Healthy Friendships
  • T – Telling My Story
  • S – Serving Others

H: Hanging Out with Jesus

As we follow Jesus, we sometimes forget to spend time with him—or we choose to use our time in other ways. In this habit, you will learn the value and joy of spending time with Jesus. Hanging out with Jesus doesn’t make him love us more than he already does, and it isn’t a way to earn “spiritual points.” It’s all about spending time with our best friend and discovering what is most important to him.

A: Attending Church

In the midst of busy and often overwhelming lives, students sometimes view attending church as unnecessary at best and a burden at worst. But Hebrews 10 encourages us to consider the role and importance of the community of Jesus-followers. This habit will help students in grades 5-8 consider the importance of regularly gathering with other followers of Jesus in our local church.

B: Being Generous

Generosity can seem like something meant only for adults who have plenty of money or other resources. But Luke reveals the importance of practicing generosity—regardless of our age or resources. This habit will help students in grades 5-8 see why Jesus wants us to be generous and how you can pursue this important habit in your lives.

I: Investing in Healthy Friendships

The idea of developing and maintaining friendships isn’t new to you, but the idea of investing in good, solid, healthy friendships may be new territory. This habit will help students in grades 5-8 understand how to build this particular habit as you follow Jesus.

T: Telling My Story

Everyone loves a good story. But a story that means the most to us is the story of our lives: the narrative that helps us to make sense of our life’s journey. As followers of Jesus, we think about the way that Jesus has shaped and changed our life story. But we also need to build the habit of sharing our story with others. This habit will help students in grades 5-8 understand how to make sharing your personal Jesus-centered story a life habit.

S: Serving Others

Few people mind being served. And in the eyes of our culture, having people who serve you means you’re a person with stature or power or influence. But in John 13, Jesus flips the script on the idea of serving others. In examining this Scripture, we discover a powerful picture of what it means to follow him. This habit will help you follow Jesus’ example and cultivate the habit of serving others as he has done.