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FourFiveSix.org: Great Ideas for your Preteen Ministry

Looking for great (game, object lessons, worship, volunteer celebration, etc. etc.) ideas to take your preteen ministry to the next level? This podcast is created and curated by FourFiveSix.org, a community of leading voices in preteen ministry. Our goal is simple: a short (4,5, or 6 minute) podcast a few times a week (4, 5, or 6 times) that gives you a quick, easy, free idea that you can use in your preteen ministry THIS WEEK. Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Want to get more great ideas right now? Come join the community of preteen leaders at fourfivesix.org
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Now displaying: 2015
Dec 17, 2015

The idea of simulating events as object lessons was inspired by the creative people at Christ in Youth – specifically their preteen weekend event, SuperStart!

Sometimes the best OBJECT for an object lesson is an event that takes place within your ministry. Today, Sean gives four examples of how he’s used this concept in Elevate to introduce and reinforce the lessons he was teaching. From having his daughter almost smash a brand new guitar that was her unexpected gift (to set up the lesson about God’s test of Moses to sacrifice Isaac), to having leaders wandering the pre-service area with heavy loads that they could use help carrying (to set up the lesson about opening your eyes to the need around you), simulated events can really bring a punch to teaching a lesson to your preteens.

Dec 16, 2015

Today you’ll hear Sean share how they turned their preteen ministry space into an “airport” one summer, and how this creative environment was used as a teaching platform.

TELL US: What’s the most creative transformation of your ministry space that you’ve ever done? Help inspire others by sharing your stories in the comment section below.

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Dec 15, 2015

Today, Sean speaks with Pastor Eric Saathoff about turning weaknesses into testimonies. Just like Moses, who was being called by God to lead God’s people despite a speaking challenge, Pastor Eric has struggled with stuttering since he was a child. Pastor Eric talks today about reconciling his weakness with God’s call on his life, and gives us a GREAT IDEA of what to do with our weaknesses as ministry leaders.

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Dec 14, 2015

Many ministries use name tag stickers during service, but what happens after the service is over? Where do all those stickers end up? Destroying clothes in the washing machine? Giving away a child’s identity to strangers at the store?

Today Sean sits down with one of the Children’s Pastors at Destiny, Eric Saathoff, to talk about some great ideas for the destiny of those name tag stickers.

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Dec 11, 2015

When Sean first came on staff at Destiny Church, the 1st-5th grade students were all together. His first step in creating a preteen ministry was creating a program within the existing Children’s Ministry called Fifth Grade Helpers.

For over a decade, this program has been evolving as a discipleship program, specifically focused on helping students learn to serve the Church, and to build relationships with others who are dedicated to serving the church.

It has created long-lasting servants, many who are now adults and who continue to serve the Church and maintain friendships with the others who served with them back when they were preteens.

Today is part 4 of a 4 part series about the Fifth Grade Helper program. On today’s podcast, you’ll hear Sean give four ideas to get your student leadership program started in the right direction:

  1. Organize your first season of the program
  2. Involve another leader to help manage the program
  3. Charge a nominal fee for students to participate
  4. Think about where the program is leading students

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Dec 10, 2015

When Sean first came on staff at Destiny Church, the 1st-5th grade students were all together. His first step in creating a preteen ministry was creating a program within the existing Children’s Ministry called Fifth Grade Helpers.

For over a decade, this program has been evolving as a discipleship program, specifically focused on helping students learn to serve the Church, and to build relationships with others who are dedicated to serving the church.

It has created long-lasting servants, many who are now adults and who continue to serve the Church and maintain friendships with the others who served with them back when they were preteens.

Today is part 3 of a 4 part series about the Fifth Grade Helper program. Today’s podcast gives an example of what a Fifth Grade Helper Meeting looks like.

Each meeting has three components (about 10-15 minutes each):

  1. Leadership Challenge (aka Lord of the Flies activity)
  2. A Short Leadership Lesson
  3. Skills Training

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Dec 9, 2015

When Sean first came on staff at Destiny Church, the 1st-5th grade students were all together. His first step in creating a preteen ministry was creating a program within the existing Children’s Ministry called Fifth Grade Helpers.

For over a decade, this program has been evolving as a discipleship program, specifically focused on helping students learn to serve the Church, and to build relationships with others who are dedicated to serving the church.

It has created long-lasting servants, many who are now adults and who continue to serve the Church and maintain friendships with the others who served with them back when they were preteens.

Today is part 2 of a 4 part series about the Fifth Grade Helper program. Today’s podcast is focused on the how the preteen leaders are chosen.

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Dec 8, 2015

When Sean first came on staff at Destiny Church, the 1st-5th grade students were all together. His first step in creating a preteen ministry was creating a program within the existing Children’s Ministry called Fifth Grade Helpers.

For over a decade, this program has been evolving as a discipleship program, specifically focused on helping students learn to serve the Church, and to build relationships with others who are dedicated to serving the church.

It has created long-lasting servants, many who are now adults and who continue to serve the Church and maintain friendships with the others who served with them back when they were preteens.

Today is part 1 of a 4 part series about the Fifth Grade Helper program. Today’s podcast is focused on the “Who” and “Why” of the program.

A few months ago, we released a podcast that gave an overview to the Fifth Grade Helper Program.

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Dec 4, 2015

Some truths from scripture are so fantastic and mind-blowing that the best way to explain them is through a “magic trick”, an illusion.

Today, Sean explains why you shouldn’t shy away from doing an illusion, even if you’ve never done one before. You have the skill – and with practice, you, too, can amazing and fascinate. More importantly, you can create a powerful ministry moment when you turn that illusion into an illustration of a spiritual truth.

If you are looking for illusions that you can learn before this Sunday, check out these two resources:

  1. Gospel Magic
  2. Pinterest Page with Bible-themed Illusions

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Dec 3, 2015

Many preteens love #selfies. But really, this is just a modern version of the classic photo booth, right? So, why not build your own photo booth for preteens to enjoy at your next service or event?

Today, Mike Sheley returns to talk with Sean about how you can build your very own old-school photo booth for less than $100. You could probably do it for $50, actually. We talked about another similar, less expensive (but not nearly as cool) option on a podcast episode back in May.

As Mike talks about building a photo booth, he shares these two resources:

Would you rather read Mike’s thoughts on this? Check out the article he wrote for juniorhighministry.org.

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Dec 2, 2015

Mike Sheley from Indiana talks with Sean today about a major event they are putting on this Friday – Black Light Night: an event that can easily be altered and tailored to your own preteen ministry.

As Mike discusses black light night in today’s podcast, he mentions these three resources:

  1. Blacklight.com
  2. S&S Worldwide
  3. Dude Perfect’s Black Light Episode

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Dec 2, 2015

This can be a really great time of year to celebrate and spend quality time with your volunteers. A Christmas Party can become a tradition that your volunteers look forward to with great anticipation.

Today, Sean talks about Elevate’s yearly Volunteer Christmas Party, how it’s structured, and what the intention of the evening is.

Raise the value of your preteen ministry leaders this Christmas season with a volunteer party! What a great idea!

Mentioned in today’s podcast was Caine’s Arcade – a YouTube Video that can inspire you and your volunteers any time of year.

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Nov 28, 2015

Making space for students to pray, and to lead their peers in prayer, can create powerful and meaningful moments for your preteens. Today, Sean shares 5 different ways to give students a chance to LEAD and prayer.

Mentioned in today’s podcast was the 5th Grade Helper program. We have a podcast episode giving an overview of this program, and are planning to record 4 more episodes giving more details about this discipleship program.

The audio clip on today’s podcast is from Elevate’s Live Preteen Worship CD.

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Nov 27, 2015

How many battle stories can you think of in the Bible? How many spiritual battles will preteens face as they get older? How much fun would it be to shoot all of your preteens with a Nerf Gun?

In light of the answers to these questions, Elevate has put on a Boys’ Night Nerf War for the past three years. It’s been a blast! Listen to today’s podcast to hear how Elevate has organized their Nerf War and gather ideas for your very own simple, free, fun event.

Mentioned in today’s podcast was The Onference and The Launchinar. Check both of those out at www.fourfivesix.org.

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Nov 25, 2015

A conference can be such a great experience for ministry leaders. You have the opportunity to rub shoulders with like-minded people, get new ideas for your ministry, refresh and renew your vision for what God is calling you to do, etc. etc. etc. etc.

The benefits of a good conference can be GIGANTIC! So, today’s great idea is to plan to attend one next year and start pitching the idea now to your board and senior pastor.

INCM has a new commitment to preteen ministry, which is so exciting! They also wanted to get the word out about a Black Friday Deal they are offering – check it out here.

Rental car, hotel room, and airfare costs can make a conference too expensive to attend. If you’re in this boat, check out FourFiveSix.org’s online conference for preteen ministry leaders. It’s going to be awesome!

Whatever you do, plan to attend some kind of gathering of preteen ministry leaders in 2016. It’s a really GREAT idea.

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Nov 23, 2015

Week after week, the preteens come into your classroom setting. And while predictability and stability minister to preteens, the consistency of how your services are structured may become boring or may be causing your services to be forgotten (because they’re all so similar).

Today, Sean talks about one way to shake things up, in a way that doesn’t distract from your lesson, but actually enhances your lesson: Going outside.

You’ll hear 4 examples of how going outside during a service has created memorable ministry moments for the preteens in Elevate.

“I can’t take the preteens outside. I’ll lose control.” Today’s podcast will help you think again about this.

“I’ve got too many kids to take them outside.”   Today’s podcast will help you think again about this.

All of this jammed into a 6 minute podcast. Check it out! And share your ideas of outdoor object lessons in the comment section below.

 

By the way…

  • The Launchinar, with Patrick Snow, is coming up on December 1st. Get the details HERE.
  • Are you signed up for FourFiveSix’s 2016 Online Conference yet? Get all the details HERE.
  • Are you receiving the weekly newsletter yet? Get added to the list HERE, or by texting “preteen” to 66866.

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Nov 21, 2015

Today, a very simple and effective object lesson for demonstrating how powerful the effect of influence can be on the lives of preteens (and chickens).

By the way…

  • The Launchinar, with Patrick Snow, is coming up on December 1st. Get the details HERE.
  • Are you signed up for FourFiveSix’s 2016 Online Conference yet? Get all the details HERE.
  • Are you receiving the weekly newsletter yet? Get added to the list HERE, or by texting “preteen” to 66866.

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Nov 20, 2015

Does the point of the lesson and the focus of the preteens get lost somewhere between the large group time and the small group time? Are the first few minutes of small group spent refocusing the kids before jumping into the small group activity or discussion?

Today, Sean talks about an experiment they’ve been doing in Elevate for the past few years which is helping to remedy these issues. Instead of closing the chapter on large group and then sending them to small group (and vise verse), the preteens are preparing for small group time DURING the large group time….and preparing for the large group time DURING the small group time.

Listen to today’s podcast and hear the details of this great idea, and see how your preteens can connect the dots from large group to small group and back again.

 

By the way…

  • The Launchinar, with Patrick Snow, is coming up on December 1st. Get the details HERE.
  • Are you signed up for FourFiveSix’s 2016 Online Conference yet? Get all the details HERE.
  • Are you receiving the weekly newsletter yet? Get added to the list HERE, or by texting “preteen” to 66866.

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Nov 17, 2015

Sometimes when preteens misbehave, we are responsibility (in some measure) for the misbehavior. If we haven’t set up our environment as a place where preteens can thrive behaviorally, then how can we expect that behavioral excellence from them?

In this episode of the podcast, Sean shares 4 ways to set up the space and program of your ministry for success. He discusses:

  1. Environment (There’s a whole podcast about this idea here)
  2. Programs that match preteens
  3. Addressing problematic program elements
  4. Structuring lessons around engaging topics

 

By the way…

  • The Launchinar, with Patrick Snow, is coming up on December 1st. Get the details HERE.
  • Are you signed up for FourFiveSix’s 2016 Online Conference yet? Get all the details HERE.
  • Are you receiving the weekly newsletter yet? Get added to the list HERE, or by texting “preteen” to 66866.

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/

Nov 17, 2015

Sometimes when preteens misbehave, we are responsibility (in some measure) for the misbehavior. If we haven’t set up our environment as a place where preteens can thrive behaviorally, then how can we expect that behavioral excellence from them?

In this episode of the podcast, Sean shares 4 ways to set up the people in your ministry for success. He discusses:

  • Set expectations (See Karaoke Night for an example)
  • Show you care
  • SMALL groups
  • Give leaders relational positions, not task positions

 

By the way…

The Launchinar, with Patrick Snow, is coming up on December 1st. Get the details HERE.

Are you signed up for FourFiveSix’s 2016 Online Conference yet? Get all the details HERE.

Are you receiving the weekly newsletter yet? Get added to the list HERE, or by texting “preteen” to 66866.

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Nov 16, 2015

Today Sean’s mom, Carol Sweet, gives tips on a very effective discipline technique: REDIRECTION. Instead of directly addressing a behavior issue in the moment, Carol suggests simply redirecting the student to something else and then revisiting the behavior at a later and more appropriate moment.

Today you’ll hear more about how redirection works and a couple of examples of how this might work in your preteen ministry.

By the way…

  • The Launchinar, with Patrick Snow, is coming up on December 1st. Get the details HERE.
  • Are you signed up for FourFiveSix’s 2016 Online Conference yet? Get all the details HERE.
  • Are you receiving the weekly newsletter yet? Get added to the list HERE, or by texting “preteen” to 66866.

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Nov 13, 2015

Imagine trying to teach a bird to climb a tree. Do you think you might have some “behavior issues” from the bird? Would they succeed? Would you, as the teacher, be frustrated? When we don’t consider where preteens are developmentally, we are setting them up for a similar failure, and setting ourselves up for a similar frustration.

Sometimes what we think is a behavior issue in a preteen is just an outflow of where they are developmentally.

Understanding preteens’ development can help to approach their behavior with empathy and peace, as opposed to judgement and frustration. It can also help us to structure our events, environments, and services in ways that set them up for success.

Here are three ways you can begin the journey of understanding preteens:

  1. Read the research paper by the AMLE.
  2. Read a book about developmental stages, like Yardsticks.
  3. A Google Search for “Developmental Stages” will help you in further understanding this age. Notice especially the work of Piaget and Erik Erikson.

Do you have a great resource for understanding preteens? Share with us in the comment section on the bottom of the webpage where this episode is posted. Please. :-)

By the way…

  • The Launchinar, with Patrick Snow, is coming up on December 1st. Get the details HERE.
  • Are you signed up for FourFiveSix’s 2016 Online Conference yet? Get all the details HERE.
  • Are you receiving the weekly newsletter yet? Get added to the list HERE, or by texting “preteen” to 66866.

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Nov 11, 2015

The squeaky wheel gets the oil. Yes, but the squeaky wheel is the one that NEEDS the oil. OK, but how do we balance that with the fact that there is a room full of students with needs?

Do you ever find that one misbehaving student is getting all of your attention? Do you think to yourself, “That’s not fair to the rest of the group.”? But then you think, “Well Jesus told me to leave the 99 for the 1.”

Relationship Based Discipline takes time, energy, and focus. However, if we focus on one student who is having issues and misbehaving, to the point of ignoring the rest of our group, we’ve allowed that student to become a thief. Today’s podcast is about balancing our compassion for the individual with our responsibility to the whole group.

By the way…

  • The Launchinar, with Patrick Snow, is coming up on December 1st. Get the details HERE.
  • Are you signed up for FourFiveSix’s 2016 Online Conference yet? Get all the details HERE.
  • Are you receiving the weekly newsletter yet? Get added to the list HERE, or by texting “preteen” to 66866.

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Nov 10, 2015

Part of good discipline involves consequences. Today on the podcast, Sean discusses three types of consequences, and why people use each.

By the way…

  • Are you signed up for FourFiveSix’s 2016 Online Conference yet? Get all the details HERE.
  • Are you receiving the weekly newsletter yet? Get added to the list HERE, or by texting “preteen” to 66866.

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Nov 7, 2015

You’ve probably heard the phrase: “Pick your battles”. But how do we pick our battles? Sometimes, we fight a behavior that is simply annoying in the same way we’d respond to a student committing a sinful, hurtful, or unsafe act.

Today on the podcast, Sean and Chris encourage us all to consider the behaviors we are disciplining, and whether they are “crimes against humanity”, or simply annoying.

By the way…

  • Are you signed up for FourFiveSix’s 2016 Online Conference yet? Get all the details HERE.
  • Are you receiving the weekly newsletter yet? Get added to the list HERE, or by texting “preteen” to 66866.

Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to podcast@fourfivesix.org. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

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