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Preteen Ministry Musts: 4 Guidelines for Next-Level Success

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Preteen ministry bridges an important gap between programs for children and teens. Discover a veteran leader’s recommendations for top-notch ministry to preteens and tweens.

Not all great ministry models look the same. But four core ingredients can take any preteen ministry to the next level. I call these the secret sauce.

4 Pointers for Preteen Ministry

1. Recruit caring teachers.

This might seem obvious. Rather than concentrating volunteers’ efforts on maintaining control of our big kids, though, we focus on volunteers’ relationships with preteens. Kids must listen to parents, and they’re supposed to listen to teachers. But they’ll really listen to a volunteer who consistently shows care.

So how are you modeling care to volunteers? Train them to prioritize listening. Put forming genuine relationships over rules. Then check out the Group U Course on The L.I.F.E Strategy for Recruiting and Equipping Volunteers. Discover tools to recruit, train, and manage volunteers.

2. Make it Jesus-centered.

It’s easy to unintentionally put ourselves at the center of ministries we lead. But we must make Jesus’ love for preteens the true center. That means setting aside our personal goals, our image, and our success. Regularly ask if your preteen ministry is Jesus-centered. Or is your focus elsewhere?

How are you identifying the purpose behind aspects of your program? How do you evaluate to ensure they’re all about exalting Jesus?

3. Develop a group of positively influencing peers.

No matter how cool and relevant you and your 23-year-old volunteer are, preteens will strive to impress their peers. So intentionally pinpoint influential preteens who can assume leadership roles. Then guide those influencers to have a deeper impact on your group.

Who can you develop as leaders? When and how will you do it?