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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: September, 2018
Sep 28, 2018

Today on the podcast, Sean speaks with Mark one of the camp directors for Elevate last summer, about making up your own games.

In Elevate over the summer, one of the camps had an element, which required the preteens in their groups to create a game. They created their game and then everyone participated in the game and voted for which one they liked the best. Mark actually created a game as well that sounds like it would not work but actually had great success with the preteens.

The game was called “Gauntlet”. It is a mix of dodgeball and an elimination game. In the game, you have teams on the field separated at the midline with cones. One team has dodgeballs the catch being that everyone can have a dodgeball but they cannot have more than one and they cannot pick up another one ever, they are limited to the one ball throughout the game. This team is on one side of the field behind the midline. The other team on the other hand has no dodgeballs at all. That team actually has another objective. They are trying to move a secret “gauntlet” from one side to the other side of the field without the dodgeball team ever hitting the “gauntlet”. This is accomplished by having bodyguards moving with the “gauntlet” and keeping that person a secret. The bodyguards are limited to one life; if they are hit then they must leave the field.  The point was awarded to the team that was able to accomplish their objective.

Another game that was created during Elevate’s Makers Camp was a game called “Sports Ball” which actually didn’t even use a ball. It was like ultimate Frisbee but they used a pool noodle. They threw the pool noodles like javelins through hula hoops that were hung up in trees on opposing ends of the playing field. Each team was trying to get the pool noodle to their hula hoop. When they had the pool noodle in their hand they couldn’t move but could pass to other players that were free to move.  

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/.

Sep 27, 2018

Today on the podcast, Sean speaks with Makenna about dividing and conquering in ministry.

Benefits to splitting the preteens up within a service:

  • Connection and relationship building with the preteens because of the smaller group.
  • Harder for preteens to go under the radar and be missed because there are less to be called on
  • Able to change the delivery of the message based on the preteens that you have present (ie. Immature 4th graders compared to 5th or 6th grade leaders)
  • More leadership opportunities with the need for more teachers
  • Ownership of a ministry for your volunteers makes them more dedicated
  • Offers preteens choices making them more invested in it
Sep 26, 2018

Today on the podcast, Sean speaks with Kaye Allen, regarding the idea of prayer partners between the preteens and the adults of the church.

Once a month the adults active in Kaye and her husband Harley’s class come in and partner up, 1-1 sometime 2-1, with the preteens in Elevate. The students each are given a simple prayer journal with a spot to write a prayer request and a spot for the partner to write a response back to them. The preteens, before the partners come in, write down their prayer request. When the adults come in they partner up with the same preteen each month, pray with them, and then take the preteens prayer journal with them to write back to the preteens. The adults write a response in the journal and give them back to Kaye, who in turn gives them to Sean so that they can be handed back out the next prayer Sunday. The kids are excited about it and look forward to prayer Sunday.

Kaye explains that the idea came about from years of ministry and an email from Sean requesting for prayer for a preteen. When Kaye realized the heaviness that preteens are encountering these days she felt it was necessary for them to receive prayer. She felt that this was a great opportunity for the adult population of the church to come together with the preteens in the church one on one to share prayer requests. Kaye received feedback from one of the prayer Sundays about the experience of one of the adults who came to pray. The gentlemen prayed for the preteen and when they finished the preteen responded with what can I pray for you for. The adult offered up his prayer request and when they met this last month the preteen asked if God answered their prayer. The value was seen in coming together and praying because now the preteen is praying for the adult as well. There is value for the preteen in knowing there is an adult praying for 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/.

Sep 25, 2018

Today on the podcast, Sean discusses the idea of doorframe prayers.

This was an idea thought up by Chris Santos, the 6th grade pastor in Elevate. The doorframe in the 6th grade ministry space is metal, and magnets will stick to it. Chris bought magnets and stuck stickers to them and invited the preteens to put a name on a magnet of a friend from school, the neighborhood, or sports teams that they would like to see walk through the doors of the ministry space. This is a great hook to get the preteens involved in the message of evangelism. Preteens are more engaged to invite people to church when they have a specific person in mind.

If you offer a hook before you give the message the preteens will be more engaged in the message. So, in this case having them think of a friend beforehand makes it easier for them to understand the context of the message. So as Pastor Chris, in this case, was talking about evangelism the preteens are more engaged because they have a person in mind of who they want to evangelize too.

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/.

Sep 14, 2018

Today on the podcast, Sean talks about an event Elevate had recently, Water Wars.

This is a great idea that you could use when the weather is warm. Elevate was doing a lesson on Jesus being baptized and started the night off with a great preservice time, “Water Wars”. As the preteens arrived the kids they were put into groups of 12-15-18 and then pulled aside and assigned a team (blue, green or orange). Now that they were in their color teams the teams would travel around together to the different stations and compete against each other to earn points for their respective teams.

Each group would go through an orientation and meet their team captain before moving onto the stations. The stations were the following:

1.       3 matchbox cars and 3 water guns: The teams would shoot their respective cars and try to move them down the strip of cement with only the water gun as its power. Meanwhile the rest of the kids in the group were trying to knock the cars off track using the splash bombs and a bucket of water. If the car got knocked off it had to start all over. The furthest down the track and the end of the time period was the winner and received 3 points, 2nd place 2 points and 3rd place 1 point.

2.       Water Balloon Toss: Preteens were partnered with someone else on their team and it was a competition to see who could have the largest gap between partners when they tossed it and not break the balloon was the winner. Again, the points awarded were 1st -3; 2nd -2; 3rd -1.

3.       3 sponges up: All teams competing at one time the leader would throw the sponge into the air and kids would catch them. Based on their team they would take the sponge and squeeze any remaining water into their respective bucket. At the end of the time whichever group had the most water in their bucket was the winner. Points again awarded were 1st -3; 2nd -2; 3rd -1.

4.       Sponges Bombs: Here the kids got to each create their own sponge bomb using a sponge and some string. If you go on google or pinterest you can look up the directions on how to make these. Whichever team created the most was the winner. Points again awarded were 1st -3; 2nd -2; 3rd -1.

5.       Water relay: Teams would line up with a bucket in front of them. The first person would scoop up water in their cup pour it over their head to the person behind them and try to get it into that person’s cup. This would continue to the end and then pour the remaining water in the bucket. At the end of the time the winner was the team with the most water in their bucket. Points again awarded were 1st -3; 2nd -2; 3rd -1.

After all the rotations the kids took a break together with all the orange, blue and green kids now combining to make big orange, blue and green teams. While the students were taking a break, the field was set up for the actual water war. This was played like capture the flag except that it was “capture the towel” and instead of tagging people you were squirting them or throw water balloons. After adding the points from the stations, the team who had the most points, received the best part of the field along with the most forms of water arsenal. You could only get wet once you crossed into another teams’ zone. If they were able to get you wet, you became frozen for 10 seconds. Additionally, while you are frozen the team can continue to get you soaking wet until the 10 seconds are up at which time they had to return to their zone. After all of this fun everyone came together to hear a message about Jesus being baptized. This was a great set-up to the lesson, that Jesus was human and got wet like us and choosing to get wet he participated. It showed his great leadership that although he didn’t need to be baptized because he never sinned, he got into the water and stepped into the world with us.

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.

Sep 13, 2018

Today on the podcast, Sean speaks with Jacob Horn the children’s pastor from North Madison Christian Church out of Madison, Indiana, regarding the community wide VBS they offered.

Jacob has 10-15 preteens at their church and have come up with a way to host a VBS for their kids without having to send them to another church. This concept of a community wide VBS has a long history in Madison. It started back in the 60’s when two different churches came together to do VBS for the kids. Today, much like then people contribute in many ways to the success of the VBS, meeting monthly to determine where they want to serve. Jacob and his wife Sara direct the elementary age, they create the stage design, take care of the teachers, take care of announcements, and the worship as well.  There is a separate person for the preschool age and an administrative director who contacts the staff and churches. Although there are different denominations represented the focus of the VBS is who Jesus is and the love that he has for them. There are so many benefits to the idea of community VBS, kids seeing other kids from their school that they might not know go to church, or the connections made between leaders and kids throughout the community, has become so impactful for the community. jacobhorn@northmadison.cc or check out the churches website here http://northmadison.cc/.

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/.

Sep 12, 2018

Today on the podcast, Sean speaks with Patrick Snow regarding the successful use of preteen volunteers.

Patrick has successfully chosen preteens for years and brought them up on stage as volunteers while working with Superstart!. The ability to bring a preteen up on stage and interact with the lesson has been a very successful tool. The risk of bringing a preteen on stage to help demonstrate something in the lesson is a risk that has to be taken because it will make the lesson that much more successful.

1.       Be incredibly clear what you are asking a preteen to come and do before even inviting them on stage.

2.       Don’t pick the first hand that comes up. Be choosy in who you pick as a volunteer. By choosing the preteen that will fit what you want to happen on stage will help in the delivery of the message.

3.       Never make the preteen feel like they did something wrong if they come up and don’t do what you needed them to do.  Try to turn whatever they have done into a win. Sometimes you might need to guide them into the answer that you want them to give.

If you want more information about CIY’s Superstart! check out their website 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/.

Sep 11, 2018

Today on the podcast, Sean speaks with Pastor Chris, regarding the importance of framing things.

The idea behind framing is setting up a message or a game so that your explanation allows the audience to know what is going to happen. It is the concept of setting the tone for what you are expecting to happen. This can be helpful for some students because their mindset it is helpful to know ahead of time what the plan is. It also allows preteens to know what they might be volunteering for because in their eagerness to be involved they don’t realize what it might entail. By giving the preteens or anyone else in the ministry your expectation of them it puts them at ease and makes sure they are the right volunteer for what you need. By diving in without setting your expectation you have the potential of having to solve the problem during the middle instead of having it handled ahead of 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/.

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