Info

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
RSS Feed
FourFiveSix.org: Great Ideas for your Preteen Ministry
2023
October
August
July
June
May
April
January


2022
December
November
October


2021
April
March
February
January


2020
October
September
May
March
February
January


2019
November
October
September
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
November
October
September
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March


All Episodes
Archives
Now displaying: August, 2018
Aug 31, 2018

Today on the podcast, Sean talks with Makenna about the use of virtual lost and found to let parents know what stuff was left behind from camp.

After the very first summer camp this past summer Elevate had so much left behind items from campers. This could have either cost a headache for the whole summer or bring about a fix, because lost items and preteens just goes together. Makenna wanted to come up with an idea of how she could let parents know how much the kids were actually leaving behind. Unfortunately, she didn’t think that a long email would even be read by the parents, so she had to come up with a plan to make them aware.

This brought about the idea of taking pictures of the items in categories and attached those to one short email at the end of camp. This allowed the parents to do a virtual lost and found tour of what was left behind. The email gave instructions for parents of how to claim the items as well. What was nice was that the items were categorized (water bottles, towels, tshirts…) which allowed parents to focus in on specifically what their preteen might have left.

When it came to the retrieval of the lost items, the clearer directions that you can give to the parents the better. IF you won’t be in the office on a specific day make sure you note that, so parents are not showing up and no one is there to help them. Parents are appreciative of the ease that a virtual lost and found offers but it can be a time-consuming process. This also allows for you to put a time frame on when these items need to be picked up by before you will be donating them.

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/.

Aug 30, 2018

Today on the podcast, Sean speaks about the idea of scraping small groups (kind of) from your service.

Sunday mornings used to be all about the small groups for Elevate. Recently there was a change to that. Elevate still uses small groups on Wednesday night but Sunday’s there has been a shift away from that. Sunday mornings had a weird thing that continued to happen, a group would have 6 or 7 preteens one week and the next week would have 1 or none and there was no consistency to the numbers that would attend from the roster. The inconsistency with the preteens and on the flip side the inconsistency of the leaders that who were committed but would have something come up. For this reason, Elevate decided to scrap small groups on Sunday mornings. This does not mean that the preteens don’t meet and have a discussion time in small groups of people. It just means that consistent, scheduled small groups are no longer an element in those services. That relationship development that would occur in a long-term group dynamic does not occur during the Sunday mornings but does occur on Wednesday nights.

The new look on Sunday includes tables with a leader at each table. By using two different color chairs they are able to distinguish the specific seat the leader will sit in compared to the rest of the chairs the preteens sit in. The preteens then have the opportunity to sit at whatever table they want to sit at. They can sit with a specific leader or a group of friends, but they cannot add or remove chairs from a table. This allows for Elevate to end up with good size groups every week. This also allows them to not be concerned with the consistency in the groups while still allowing for the small group discussion dynamic to occur. This idea is working well because it still limits the amount of preteens in a group while making sure there is not just one student you are trying to have a discussion with.

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/.

Aug 29, 2018

Today on the podcast, Sean speaks with Patrick Snow about the use of “Salvation Building Blocks” to teach the salvation message.

Patrick discusses how Superstart, this last season, began using three building blocks (blue, red and yellow) or as they call them “Building Blocks”. These three building blocks have different words written on them, Blue = God, Red = Jesus & Yellow = Us. He explains how using the blocks they were able to show 1000’s of preteens the salvation message with some they could physically hold in their hands. By explaining that we were meant to be connected to God and having the preteens connect the two blocks together they get the visual representation of our relationship with God. They show our separation from God because of sin by having the preteens separate the blocks. They then discuss Jesus and how his death on the cross and allows us to be connected back to God. They would end the message by having the preteens connect the red block under the blue block and finally connect the yellow block to the red block thus giving them the perfect picture of what Jesus does for us.

Elevate used them this summer for a day camp and Sean followed the step by step video offered by Superstart. The popularity of these blocks has been more than Superstart ever expected. Patrick explains that he believes they are so popular because of the hands-on aspect of them. Preteens learn so much better when they have the interaction component. They are also helpful because preteens already know what a building block is. It isn’t something that you have to explain to them because they already have that internal connection as to how the blocks connect. Finally, they are popular because it gives the preteens an easy way to go out and share the gospel message with their friends using the blocks. It makes the gospel accessible to the preteens.

If you would like to use these “Building Blocks” for your ministry go to the following website and order some blocks for free. https://www.ciy.com/superstart/456

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/.

Aug 28, 2018

Today on the podcast, Sean discusses the idea that we all have limits and those limits are necessary and OK.

You have big dreams of what your ministry can be and how God can work through you. Unfortunately, God did not give us no limits in our lives. This might seem contrary to what scripture says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) When you look at these scriptures you don’t see it suggesting that God is writing us a blank check saying you have no limits. There are limits in the number of hours in a day. Putting Philippians 4:13 into context we see that Paul talks about being hungry, being well fed, he learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. He didn’t say that he can do miraculous things, like feeding 10,000 people before noon. We are not all called to the same things. We have limits of what we are capable of doing and that is ok.

This summer the leadership team in Elevate bumped up against some of their limits. Knowing that we have these limits where should we live, should we live right on the edge of our limits and pushing up against at all times or should we have a buffer. Living at your boundary doesn’t allow for room when unexpected events happen.  We don’t operate at those limits, but we leave some margin between what we can accomplish and what God can accomplish through us and leave some room with where we operate all the time. But there is the extreme that if you pull so far away from the boundary that you aren’t doing anything at all. Figure out what that comfortable margin is where you can work and time to time things might push us out to our limits, but we don’t plan to operate there. Limits are good because it gives us a chance to show God we trust him. It gives us a chance to say I am not God, who is limitless, I can only do so much.

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/.

Aug 24, 2018

Today on the podcast, Sean talks with Jaime Santos a psychologist, who alongside of her husband Pastor Chris run the 6th grade ministry in Elevate. She was on today to discuss the concept of enforceable statements.

Enforceable statements are a great disciplinary technique that will help ministries. This is a concept that comes from Love and Logic, and it has been successfully used by many parents. Basically, an enforceable statement is something that you as the leader says that you will allow a student to do. For example, a simple statement like “the car leaves at 8” just means that the car will leave at 8 this is what is happening. The concept involves stating what you as the leader will be doing instead of trying to control the behaviors individually. Easy way to remember enforceable statements is how they start, “I will”, “I allow”, “I give.”

When thinking about the small group times and getting individuals to stop bad behavior could use a statement like “students who chose to not listen will need to talk to me afterwards.” These types of statements are generalized for the whole group instead of individualized because this is a rule we have set in place for every student. Students tend to feel like they are being called out when they are acting up but by generalizing the statement you are setting a value to what you expect from them.

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/.

Aug 23, 2018

Today on the podcast, Sean speaks with Hannah Bush, a pastor at a church in Texas and a writer for Deeply Rooted Curriculum, regarding the idea of renewing your passion for preteen ministry.

By stepping out of the leadership role and stepping down into the trenches and being on the level with the students. For Sean that meant giving up all his leadership roles at camp this summer and passing those off to other leadership and becoming a cabin leader. It was an amazing week of ministry, allowing him to walk away with a renewed mindset of why he is doing what he is doing in ministry.

Hannah had a similar renewing experience this summer. Hannah also runs the 1st -3rd grade at the church and this pulls her away from the preteens. This summer she decided she wanted to step back into the preteen side of the ministry. She normally delegates out the one on one time and teaching roles to others because it works. She decided she wanted to “dig back down to roots” of preteen ministry and take 3-weeks and teach both services this summer. It had its challenges on the logistics side, but it has been a refreshing start going into the fall. It rejuvenates your passion for why you do what you do.

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/.

Aug 22, 2018

Today on the podcast, Sean speaks with Zach Matchett, 5th/6th grade pastor, from a church in Central Indiana, called Northview Church a multi-site church.

Zach discusses this concept known as T.H.P., short for Take Home Point. This is one statement, one question, or one commandment that the students will take away from the message and be a springboard for a discussion as a family.

During their message using part of the teaching time to get some interaction from the students helps them to be engaged in the lesson. Northview uses a table group/small group model for their Sunday morning setup. When closing the service out in their small groups the final question always is, what was the THP and why was it important? By taking the memorization concept one step further in a message and asking why something was important to what they learned helps the message to be more impactful. Additionally, Zach has recently added in the question, how does this challenge me to live differently, to the students during small group time.

By focusing on one point there is a greater chance of successfully getting the students to take home what they learned. They are able to focus in on one idea instead of 2 or 3.

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/.

Aug 21, 2018

Today on the podcast, Makenna discusses four lessons she learned as Camp Director for Elevates day camps this summer.

Lesson #1: People Over Program. When camp is really about the campers you will do just about anything to serve the campers. Maybe that is rescheduling the day because it is too hot out or offering a camper an extra snack because they are so hungry. Remembering that program and schedule is great, but the most important element of camp is the campers.

Lesson #2: Swimming vs. Lifeguarding. Being “in the water” with the campers is a great way to build relationships but being at that level all the time causes you to miss issues that are out of sight. Although “sitting on the lifeguard tower” may feel like you are distancing yourself from them in reality it is putting you in a better position to see what is going on. It gives you a different perspective of the situation.

Lesson #3: Power of Debrief: Sitting down after camp and debriefing with your team is great to learn new ideas for things the following year. It has a tendency to help promote a smoother program for future events. Although some things that might come up might be hard to discuss, in the long run your system will be impacted positively because of it.

Lesson #4: You Need Boundaries: Flexibility is great, and you might be prone to push yourself to be everywhere at once. But then you find out in reality that is absolutely impossible. Setting boundaries and relying on your team will help you to not burn yourself out half way through camp. Build a team, use them and allow yourself some time set aside to relax.

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/.

1