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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: 2019
Apr 10, 2019

Today on the podcast, Sean shares some of Chip Henderson’s breakout session from the 2019 Online Conference.

Chip spoke at the 2019 Preteen Leaders’ Online Conference regarding principles of small groups. Chip offers 8 principles that he has used with his small group leaders.

  1. Always ask open ended questions – this will allow preteens to learn for themselves
  2. Always draw them back to practical actions – make the preteens think what they will do with this new information.
  3. The Bible is the authority not you.
  4. Don’t let one student dominate.
  5. Call on students specifically.
  6. Be ok with silence – don’t worry if you don’t get an answer right away let them ponder a bit.
  7. Be ok with asking questions again in a different way.
  8. Don’t be tied to the questions.

Chip explains it the best when he states that our jobs as leaser is not to give the preteens the water but to lead them to the water. If you liked this podcast and would like to hear more from the 2019 Preteen Leaders’ Online Conference click here.

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/.

Apr 9, 2019

Today on the podcast, Sean talks about the problems he is seeing with ministries starting a preteen ministry.

As Sean has been speaking at various conferences, he is coming against some challenges with ministries willing to start a preteen ministry. People are seeing the need for a preteen specific ministry but are not willing to pull the trigger to start one. So many times, the ministries feel like it is a gigantic boulder, too large to make it past. And in some cases, there is one leader that will see the vision and then see the boulder ahead of them and wonder if they will be able to accomplish it by themselves.

Sean goes on to share two impactful times he had when he first started the preteen ministry and the mighty boulders he will never forget. The lack of volunteers to help prepare for services and the addition of multiple VBS camps during the summer. He had low points while starting the ministry but just remember that getting the boulder going is tough but the bigger the boulder the more momentum it will build and the bigger the impact it will make.

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/.

Mar 23, 2019

Today on the podcast, Sean shares an excerpt of Marie Kuck‘s session at the Preteen Leaders Conference.

Marie discusses how the churches should be opening to families that have preteens with special needs. Parents are struggling to keep their families together, marriages together during this journey with a special need preteen or child. When the church is not prepared to except a special need child, they are making that family question who will except their son or daughter. If the church isn’t even willing, then who will except my child.

When kids with special needs start getting into those preteen years the differences between them and the other preteens become more apparent. You may not have the training but if you have a willing heart and are open to allow God to use you, you will be able to make a big difference in a family’s life.

Your first decision will be to determine if you are going to be tolerant or intentional when dealing with preteens with special needs. Be intentional in your ministry and cast out your nets to those that are in need. Make your ministry an inviting are for a preteen with special needs and their family.

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/.

Mar 22, 2019

Today on the podcast, Sean speaks with James Powell about changing the day you meet.

James runs the preteen ministry at the Brooklyn Tabernacle church in New York. Due to a Tuesday night prayer night for the church the preteens met the same night. The problem was that the numbers began to dwindle and most recently were down to about 10-12 preteens on Tuesdays. Because of this James began to question why the lack of preteens and what could he do to raise those numbers. Recently, after talking to parents and getting their feedback it was decided to switch the night the preteens meet to Friday. Last month they met, and they had 60 preteens.

By taking a step back and really analyzing the situation James was able to make a positive change in his ministry. Although the rest of the church met on Tuesdays that was not working for his ministry and he made a change. James suggests to pray and really examine your ministry, more specifically don’t listen to the lie Satan will tell you that it is just the ministry because preteens don’t come.

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/.

Mar 21, 2019

Today on the podcast, Sean speaks with Connie Rice regarding apologetics for preteens.

Connie has been in children’s ministry for 27 years and in preteen specific ministry for 20 of those years. Connie explains how preteens are in a stage in life where they can check out from ministry. By giving them evidence of why the Bible is to be trusted they become excited about, drawn in and engaged in what the Bible has to say. Preteens that are given apologetics become more confident and open to sharing their faith.

Preteens are at that stage where they are exploring possibilities. They are at that stage where they are questioning whether or not what their parents believe is really true. When you can offer them evidence of a faith, they are beginning to build themselves it can be helpful. By teaching preteens to interpret the scripture, the use of articles and books, we are able to offer them the evidence they are seeking.

Connie has a website that has some great resources, with two specific pages geared towards preteens. Check it out here: https://eyes2c.net/. If you have any further questions there is contact information located on the website.

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/.

Mar 19, 2019

Today on the podcast, Sean talks with Sean Marshall, the K-3rd grade pastor at Destiny Church, about preparing kids for preteen ministry.

With most churches each ministry does there own thing which makes it difficult to prepare kids to move into different ministries as they grow up. Sean Marshall looked at what Elevate was teaching so that he could make sure than when the 3rd graders transitioned over they were prepared. By understanding the vision of the next ministry the kids will be heading into, the job of the younger kid’s pastor is to make sure that those students moving up are ready to be in that new ministry.

Some of the ways Sean Marshall is preparing the kids for transition is really making sure they know who is who in the Bible. Currently they are producing a curriculum that will go chronologically through the Bible with a two-year plan to look at the characters of the Bible. Some smaller things that you can do is having the preteen pastor make an appearance in the kid’s ministry service on occasion, so the kids know who the pastor is. A fun idea is an ice cream Sunday right before they come into the new ministry so that the kids and their families can get to know the preteen ministry team. Additionally, the 3rd graders are planning to come over and sit in on a portion of the preteen service before they actually transition over. Showing the partnership between the ministries shows continuity. Making sure they are excited to move onto the next step is key to an easy transition.

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/.

Mar 8, 2019

Today on the podcast, Sean shares an excerpt of Melissa MacDonald’s session at the Preteen Leaders Conference.

Melissa discusses the idea of building a team in your ministry. Not only building a team among the leaders but also with the preteens. In her ministry they stopped playing competitive games and started doing team building with the students. She wove it into the schedule, the first 20 minutes was set aside to build a team. It was never again one team against another it was, “We are all a team”.

One example of a great team building game she gives is having all the students stand on a log and get in order on the log by their birthday with out talking to each other. She never left their side as they worked on it, instead she stayed and helped and encouraged them. Remain positive and continue to do it. It took her group two months to complete this team building by doing 20 minutes every time they met. Once they begin to work as a team then you can add back in the competitive team games.

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/.

Mar 7, 2019

Today on the podcast, Sean speaks with Zach Matchett about the Recap Yearbook.

Zach and his team have created a memento of the year for their students to reinforce what they learned over the year. It is a devotional and a yearbook all in one. They started from the very first meeting of the school year and recapped all the lessons into a devotional for the summer. Using the SOAP method (Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer) they created the devotional. They also included pictures from events, retreats and all the fun stuff from the year.

This would be a great graduation idea for your 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/.

Mar 6, 2019

Today on the podcast, Sean speaks with Michael Grady regarding a family devotional that he has created.

Michael has a passion for what the Bible has for families and the knowledge it can offer when you really know it. He took this passion and created a devotional to allow families to spend time in the Word together. The title of the devotional is Making God Part of Your Family. This allows for a conversational element to occur between the parents and preteens.

"If you are like most families, your schedule is probably busier than ever...making it difficult to find any time to spend together as a family, leaving little or no time for God. If a relationship with God and learning more about him is important to you and your family, this book is for you." Michael Grady

The devotionals offer a 10-15 minutes story that will allow for 30-45 minutes of discussion time via the questions that it asks with each story. If you would like to get a copy of Michael’s devotional or as a tool to share with parents, you can do so at www.michaelgrady.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/.

Mar 5, 2019

Today on the podcast, Sean talks about the concept of memorizing your lesson.

The benefit is greater when you have the ability to memorize the message you will be teaching. Memorizing your message removes the barrier between you and your audience. It allows you to focus on the people you are speaking to rather that constantly looking down at a piece of paper. You are able to stay on track and not lose your place while teaching. Additionally, you have a greater peace when you are able to get into the message. You don’t nee to fear skipping over or missing pieces of the message because you forget a piece. Sean mentions that in those times he trusts that the Holy Spirit is guiding his words. He offers some great tips that will help you to memorize your message. It is worth the extra effort for both you and the 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 1, 2019

Today on the podcast, Sean speaks with Zach Matchett about the Family Framework Event.

Zach is from a multi-site church in Indiana, Northview Church. The framework is a series of mile marker events that students and families go through from when they are born to when they graduate. Discipleship is a partnership between the family and local church. An example would be that in 2nd grade every kid gets their first Bible. They are brought up on stage and it is a big event. With the preteens they do what they call the Blessing. There is a separate events for Father/Son and Mother/Daughter.

If you would like more information on how the Family Framework is done visit this website https://www.northviewchurch.us/familyframework/. Additionally you can contact Zach by email at zach.matchett@northviewchurch.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. Looking for a great community of preteen leaders that you can plug into? Join us at http://fourfivesix.org/.

Jan 31, 2019

Today on the podcast, Sean speaks with Pastor Chris regarding Prayer Knight.

Recently Elevate had a service, which was called Prayer Knight. It is a play on words to give the night a medieval theme. The whole night carried this theme even to the point of having a cardboard castle set up on stage. Preservice was themed the same way and was easy and the preteens enjoyed it.

The message is what made the night so impactful. The service discussed the concept of prayer. Beginning the message with the Armor of God and transitions nicely into prayer. By breaking down the Lord’s prayer into four sections preteens were given a simple way of understanding how to pray. It allowed them to go from learning into actually doing it.

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/.

Jan 30, 2019

Today on the podcast, Sean speaks with Yancy and Robert Quinn regarding Heartbeat Worship Curriculum.

Heartbeat worship curriculum is a bi-weekly curriculum meant to help preteen and younger kids engage in worship. Yancey explains the background behind the curriculum and her mindset regarding what she wanted the curriculum to do for ministries. Looking at Psalm kids are able to see what the scripture specifically teaches them how to worship. Additionally, it can also teach the leaders how to guide and lead the preteens in worship.

Robert is currently using the curriculum and discusses how it is working with his preteens. One of their favorite components is the resources and tools that it offers the leaders to engage the kids. They have seen preteens that have never engaged in worship in the past taking that next step and beginning to grow in their worship time.

If you are interested in purchasing this curriculum, you can click on this link. https://promo.fourriversmedia.com/yancy-ministries-heart-beat/

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/.

Jan 30, 2019

Today on the podcast, Sean speaks with Makenna about anticipating their behavior.

You can’t expect preteens behavior. Recently in one of Elevate’s services, the preteens were given two choices of what they wanted to learn. As a leadership we felt that they would choose “A” but when it came down to it they choose the other and it left us with too many kids in a smaller class. When we think we have it all figured out for preteens we realize that we don’t. You may do an event for several years and on the fifth year, you get completely the opposite results. The preteens are at the stage where they will flip flop from week to week.

How can we as preteen leader prepare for the fact that we can’t anticipate preteen behavior? We need to be flexible to adjust our mindsets when it comes to the preteens. Be perceptive and agile to be able to change your game plan on the fly. Also have a bag of tricks to change things as you go.

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/.

Jan 17, 2019

Today on the podcast, Sean speaks with Amanda Davis and Kathy Pitrat from Mt Zion UMC in Bel Air, Maryland about learning at conferences and implementing that information.

A conference is not like anything else you might do to get ideas for your ministry. By setting aside time away from distractions you are able to take in so much more. They started by thinking it was a luxury to be given the opportunity to attend the conference but later realized it was really a necessity. They came away from the conference with a bunch of ideas that were very doable and a very quick change.

Upon returning from the conference they offer some of the ideas that they were able to put into practice. Two things they learned and took away including allowing the preteens to make decisions and be leaders over an aspect of your ministry as well as developing relationships with the preteens through simple things like games and question of the day. Conferences are beneficial when you can take what you learned while attending and turn around and implement it into your ministry upon return.

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/.

Jan 16, 2019

Today on the podcast, Sean talks about sanctification in the preteens in your ministry.

What can we do to come along side of our preteens and help them to become sanctified? When we teach the preteens lives, we tend to want to see the application that the lesson can be used in their lives. There are benefits to application, but his hope is more for transformation. Transformation is a more holistic response because it applies to all aspects heart, mind and soul. It is deeper and more meaningful for them to be transformed by what they learn.

Sean has seen the difficulty in getting preteens to apply the truths that they hear to their lives. They have recently found a magic word and that is “so”. This word can help you to have discussions with your preteens about transformation in their lives after they have heard facts and truths to tie it to.

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/.

Jan 15, 2019

Today on the podcast, Sean shares a portion of the Peer Group Level 2 discussions recently regarding their most engaging lessons.

During the most recent Peer Group Level 2 meeting, Patrick Snow asked the attendees what their most engaging lesson was recently. Through the groups discussion there were some interesting ideas of the needs of our preteens these days. Some ideas you wouldn’t even think about like, the basics of the bible or boys having self-esteem issues. Hopefully some of the ideas that you hear in today’s podcast will offer you some direction on lessons you might think about doing with your 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/.

Jan 15, 2019

Today on the podcast, Sean talks about an activity to use with your preteens, the two-colored prayer.

At a recent pastoral meeting the pastors were given a journal and two different colored pencils. The pastors were directed to write down their questions, thoughts or needs to God in one color and then sit a listen and try to perceive the Holy Spirit’s voice and write that response in the other color. It is great if this response is in the form of a scripture but if not still write down what is perceived and then go back and see if it goes along with scripture or confirm with a more mature Christian.

This is a great tool for even the preteens. Sean actually plans to use it with the preteen leadership students. Allowing them to do the activity and share if they would like what they feel the Holy Spirit was saying to them. An easy activity for you to do or something to have your preteens do and all you need are two colored pencils and a piece of paper.

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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