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How to Teach Preteens About Teamwork

Teamwork makes the Dream work.

Part of the role of a leader of preteen ministry is developing preteens into successful, contributing members of society. In fact, one of the dreams that I have for my ministry is that when my students enter 7th grade, they are a community of students ready to make a difference. I want them to be contributors day 1.

I think our strategy for doing this sometimes is focused more on the individual kid rather than plugging them into a team. I mean let’s face it. Teams accomplish more than individuals. In fact, Patrick Lencioni wrote a book called The Advantage based on the premise that a healthy organization (healthy team) is now a supreme advantage in business.

We need to teach our preteens not just about following God on their own, but how they can successfully work in a team in order to see big things happen in their school, community and personal lives.

Here are a few things we’ve seen that really help preteens understand the value of teamwork.

1. Free Time

When we go to camp, we always have a few hours of free time. This time is so important in learning how to relate to one another. They often play basketball, football, or spend time at the lake. They immediate form bonds as they spend time doing activities that really aren’t planned for them.

2. Groups

I think Small Groups are huge. So huge in fact, we are the only preteen ministry that I know of that does in home Small Groups! We believe that putting a student on a team or in a circle can greatly influence their ability to work on a team.

3. Projects and Fun

I try not to ever get preteens to tackle a project alone. When we do service projects, groups complete them. When we have events, it’s about groups or teams. It’s important for them to develop their identity yes, but it’s so important that their identity is being shaped with others.

How do you help preteens focus on teamwork? Are they approaching life and your ministry on a personal development level or do they feel like a part of a team, pursuing God with everything inside of them?

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J.C. Thompson is the 5th & 6th Grade Director at Brookwood Church in Simpsonville, SC, one of Outreach magazine’s Top 100 Largest Churches in America.