4 Tips for Leading Preteen Boys

So I’ve been leading a 5th and 6th grade small group on Wed. nights for the last month. It’s been an absolute blast. But there are some challenges and some blessings I would like to share with you:

  • Boys have an insane amount of energy. Any amount of focus you can draw from them is treasured for me.
  • My students really care about the needs of others.
  • The Diary of a Wimpy Kid transition is always readily apparent (in other words, some kids still clinging, others trying to earn as many cool points as possible).
  • These students can change the world, if they take the initiative to do it.
  • Initiative is something I’m not sure that you can teach.

All in all, it’s been a great experience. Here are some guidelines that I would suggest to anyone leading a boys’ preteen small group.

  1. Plan an activity that gets them moving.
  2. Challenge them.
  3. Ask for prayer requests. Challenge them to make a difference in that request they just made. (Mom is sick, follow up with “How can you take care of your mom this week?”)
  4. Connect with their parents. Allow their parents to be a part of what is going on in their child’s lessons. They will want to engage if they see their child wanting to grow in their faith.

Young people are often the catalyst for some of the greatest movements of God. It’s time we invest in them and challenge them to step up to the plate.

What are some of your suggestions for Preteen Small Groups?

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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.