Tips For Teaching Preteens in Your Ministry

Tips For Teaching Preteens in Your Ministry

Preteens. Tweens. Pre-people :). What are we to do with these wonderfully baffling kids…err…young adults?!

Here are a few ideas for engaging them:

Tips For Teaching Preteens in Your Ministry

Truth matters

Yep, just like with preschoolers and elementary age, truth matters when teaching preteens. This might seem obvious, but with this age group is more important than ever because they are wrestling with real life situations. They’re caught between the land of childhood and the land of adulthood. They need the real guideposts that can only be found in the Word of God, not just opinions based on the whims of culture or our own experience. Give them truth!

Knowledge connects

Want to connect with a preteen? Get to know their world. Understand the issues they are facing. It’s not easy being a preteen these days – it is vastly different than when most of us were growing up, and even different than just 10 years ago. Culturally, they face challenges that we wouldn’t even have imagined. And, of course, family dynamics are crucial to how a preteen behaves and responds. Gain an understanding of the world the preteen lives in and it will change the way you teach.

Authenticity validates

Want to turn away a preteen? Be fake. They’ll see right through you and turn you off in a heartbeat. Be real with them. They know you’re not perfect, and they don’t expect you to be. They expect you to be authentic.

Relationships reinforce

OK, you know one of our mantras here at Children’s Ministry Leader is “Ministry always happens best in the context of relationships.” This is as important with preteens as with any other age group. Be real with them and be interested in their life. Engage them with relationship and you will open doors to spiritual investment that simply won’t open any other way.

Technology captures

You know as well as I do that this is the technology generation. It is a natural to them as TV was to us. They live and breath all forms of technology. It’s what they relate to (and with) and what they are comfortable with. So use it! No, don’t use it exclusively. But don’t exclude it. Embrace it, and include it in the context of relationships. Use different forms of technology in your teaching and interaction with kids. Don’t have a good handle on technology? Perfect…let them teach you. It’s a great way to connect with them.

What tips would you add for teaching preteens?

(please share in comments below)

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Greg Baird
Founder of Children's Ministry Leader at Children's Ministry Leader
My passion is seeing the lives of children transformed. I believe the best way to do that is to equip leaders in the local church to serve children, volunteers and parents to invest in the lives of children at church and in the home. That?s what we do here at Children?s Ministry Leader ? equip leaders to create healthy Children?s & Family Ministry.
I serve as the Vice President of Global Resources in the Global Mission department at David C. Cook.

I love what I do as it is the outflow of 25 years of ministry experience as Children?s, Family & Administrative Pastor, consultant, trainer, speaker and short-term missions leader.

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Here’s a great resource to offer your families, created by our friends Sweet Sleep. And it’s free!

Check it out!

#VBS #SweetSleepWelcome to the Sweet Sleep Family Experience!
Join us this summer as we explore what life is like for children and families in Uganda. The program is designed to help families have fun experiences together, while learning some important truths about how God provides True Rest, and how we can learn to love and serve others as He calls us to do.

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Fun is not a 4-letter word. 🙂

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Stop begging trying to fill the needs in your ministry! IF people respond, it will likely be only short term. Obligatory service doesn’t inspire people to stick around.

Instead, understand the grand vision we are pursuing by investing in children’s lives for eternity!

Practice articulating that vision and start sharing it in every conversation. It’s a privilege and honor to be part of such important service, so INVITE people into that opportunity.

And, of course, never forget the foundation for building our team, found in Luke 10:2: “These were his [Jesus’] instructions to them: ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.’”

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