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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: February, 2016
Feb 29, 2016

This semester in Elevate, the preteens are wearing different colors each week, and they are learning how each of the colors brings glory to God.

This last week was Red Night. On today’s podcast, Sean talks about how they used an experiential learning component to help preteens internalize what it means to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus.

If you aren’t signed up for the weekly newsletter yet, get signed up today.

Check out the Deeply Rooted Curriculum, made especially for ministry to preteens.

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/.

Feb 25, 2016

If you like what you’re hearing, subscribe to the FourFiveSix podcast by clicking here and you’ll get great ideas for your preteen ministry four, five, or six times a week.

One of the first things people decide when planning a camp for their preteens is “What’s the theme going to be?”

Today, Sean talks about connecting the theme of your camp to both the activities and chapel messages. He also shares two of the four themes that Elevate Preteen Ministries uses in their summer camps in order to spark your own creativity.

We want to hear from you – what themes are you planning to have for camps this summer?

Like this? Check out: Checking in the Campers

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/.

Feb 24, 2016

Here’s an idea that gives preteens power and choices in your ministry. It also give you a better idea of what’s going on in the minds of the preteens.

Get ready for ALL REQUEST MONTH.

Check out this podcast, where Sean breaks down this simple but highly effective way of involving and engaging students in their preteen ministry.

Like this? Check out this parent connection idea: Preteen Ministry in Small Children’s Ministries

Feb 23, 2016

Today we talk with Chip Henderson about how he helps preteens to connect the dots between what they are learning in school and God, who is behind it all.

Chip Henderson is the children and preteen pastor at a church in the Fresno, California area. Chip is one of the speakers for the 2016 Preteen Leaders’ “Onference”.

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/.

Feb 22, 2016

Last April, we spent a month of blog posts talking about the how to take preservice to the next level.

Today, Sean talks to Jaime White, an amazing volunteer who has taken over the responsibility of planning and implementing pre-service for Elevate preteen ministry.

They talk about the value of making preservice “pop”, and how Jaime goes about putting together different activities for preservice each 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. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Feb 18, 2016

Check in for camp: it’s your opportunity to impress upon the campers and their parents that this is going to be a fun, organized, safe, and well thought out experience for everybody. Today on the podcast, Sean talks about the check-in process that his team has developed over 20+ years of leading summer camps.

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/.

Feb 17, 2016

Who better to help the parents of preteens when it comes to a touchy topic like “sexual purity” than parents of former preteens who’ve discovered ways of successfully having these important conversations?

Today on the podcast, Sean talks about the benefits of something he’s been doing for 4 years – a parenting panel on purity.

Like this? Check out this parent connection idea: Student Created Action Plan

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/.

Feb 16, 2016

Today we talk with Jake Morgan from Springfield about a very successful event his ministry puts on once a year to kick off the school year: the VIP Party!

Like this? Check out this event idea: Preteen Retreat

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/.

Feb 15, 2016

We want the preteens in our ministry to go home and live differently as a result of the message they heard on Sunday morning. That’s why we are excited about this new concept – having the students create their own “Action Plan” at the conclusion of each service.

The preteens can do this in their small groups and write their action plan on a parent info card, which has other announcements and upcoming event details on it as well.

What a great idea: to combine a parent info card and a student action plan into one thing! Listen to today’s podcast to hear Sean talk about how this works in Elevate.

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/.

Feb 11, 2016

If you are bringing your leaders to camp at the same time as the campers, they are not in the best position to lead (especially if the leader has never been to that particular camp before).

At Destiny Church’s Preteen Camp, the leaders go up the day before the campers do. This gives them a chance to receive some training, become settled in, pray for the camp, and build team cohesion before the campers even arrive.

Today on the podcast, Sean talks with Chris (Director of Camper Experience) about the many benefits of this strategy.

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/.

Feb 10, 2016

Preteens have so many questions about life, God, Heaven, Hell, and everything in-between. Well-meaning leaders and teaching will try to help the preteens answer these questions themselves, or even direct them to some other source to find the answers.

However, when preteens ask questions, this is a GREAT opportunity to point them to The Truth of God’s Word.

Today on the podcast, Sean talks about the many benefits of pointing preteens to scripture when they ask questions, and talks about how he goes about doing this.

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/.

Feb 9, 2016

Today we talk with Louie Schmitz from Oregon about the recent retreat he planned and led for the preteens of his church.

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/.

Feb 8, 2016

Some preteens LOVE mud and can’t wait for an opportunity to just dive right in. Others don’t want to have anything to do with getting dirty (or at least they pretend that they don’t).

Elevate has had a “Mudlympics” twice, and both times it’s been a big hit with the preteens – even the ones who just want to watch their peers getting muddy.

“Mudlympics” can be used as a special event, or as part of a special service. It’s an outdoor event, but a little rain and a little cold might actually add to the event.

Check out all the details for putting on your own “Mudlympics” and download a PDF version of the event at www.fourfivesix.org/mud.

Feb 4, 2016

When campers first arrive at camp, many of their most basic questions need to be answered before they can fully engage in all the fun and deeply spiritual stuff that you have planned:

  • Am I safe?
  • Where will I sleep?
  • Who is my cabin leader?
  • What are the rules?
  • Is there a bathroom?

Because of this, at Destiny Christian Church’s summer camp, we take time to help the preteens settle in before doing anything else. Today on the podcast, Sean explains all about the opening routine when students arrive, which includes eating and settling in FIRST.

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/.

Feb 3, 2016

Do the preteens in your ministry like to move? Unless their sedated, most preteens LOVE to move. It’s something biological.

Today on the podcast, Sean discusses The Dance Off, a planned and/or spontaneous activity that takes place in Elevate Preteen Ministries from time to time.

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/.

Feb 2, 2016

By Sean Sweet

Most preteens love to play games. It’s how they can easily make friends. It’s how they learn. It’s how they deal with all the raging energy that’s coursing through their brains and bodies.

And today’s preteens (especially the boys) love to play games on the computer. Enter The Aetherlight.

Rather than explain what The Aetherlight is, let me place a little copy from their website (www.theaetherlight.com) and you tell me if you think this would be captivating to any of the preteens that you know:

“PLAY ONLINE WITH FRIENDS. Work together to uncover what happened to the Great Engineer. Fight in each other’s battles, share clues and tips to push back the fog in this role-playing adventure that puts you right in the middle of the Resistance’s fight for freedom.”

Wow! The preteen boy inside of me wants to jump out and join the Resistance right now.

Seriously, these guys get preteens. And I love what they’re doing, for 4 reasons:

#1. It’s completely focused on conveying Biblical truths.

The Aetherlight is not the product of somebody with a passion as a video game maker trying to answer the question: “How can we make the Bible into a game?”

The Aetherlight is the product of a group of people saying “How can we best reach preteens with the Bible?” As this group of people were trying to answer this question, Tim Cleary, a World Builder from The Aetherlight, says that somebody suggested: “Why don’t we make a game?”

#2. It involves the help of people who understand ministry and working with students in real life situations.

Before he was a World Builder for The Aetherlight, Tim Cleary was a youth pastor. This ministry-minded heart is obvious in the way The Aetherlight is presented. It’s clear from the way they produced a companion Bible that goes along with the game. It’s clear from the “Resistance Academy” that’s built into the game, which helps player to connect the dots between the game and the spiritual truths the game is presenting.

#3. It’s allegorical.

One of the most powerful ways of helping a preteen to understand abstract spiritual truths is by likening it to something more concrete.

Jesus was a great Likener (think of the parables). C.S. Lewis was a great Likener. And the team behind The Aetherlight are Likeners, too.

#4. It’s in a language that preteens connect with.

Like it says on “The Aetherlight.com”, kids don’t want to read the Bible. They want to experience it.

Just last week, I shared The Aetherlight with a 5th grade boy in our preteen ministry. That night, his mom posted a picture on Facebook of him checking it out, saying, “We are ordering this right now.”

Sometimes when I speaking to the preteens, I feel like I hit on something that catches their attention. You’ve probably had a few moments like this. For many of the kids in my ministry, an illustration using a Wii remote, or when we did Minecraft night last year, does it.

The Aetherlight is in the same language. It’s communicating the truths of scripture in a language preteens understand – a game.

I had a chance this past week to talk with Tim Cleary, World Builder from The Aetherlight. Check out the interview:

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/.

Feb 1, 2016

Today Sean explains two simple games you can play that will involve everybody in your preteen ministry group. They are super simple to set up, super simple to explain, and super fun to play! Thank you to SuperStart! for inspiring these great ideas!

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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