4 Ways to Bridge Graduating Preteens to Youth Ministry

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KidsPreteen
ministers are poised at the precipice of what’s next for kids. You
have the tremendous opportunity to lead these graduating kids in
anticipation of the wonderful things God has in store for them in
youth group. Give them a vision of how God can use them. Entice
them with the excitement of how amazing youth group will be. Paint
the picture of hope and fulfillment that only God can provide.

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Use these four ideas to help your preteens bridge from
children’s ministry to youth ministry. 

  1. Mark the milestone. Make a big deal with kids
    and their families of moving from childhood to adolescence. Speak
    into family’s lives and hold an all-church celebration with Family Faith Celebrations: Preteen Passage.
    You’ll be able to equip families and celebrate with your entire
    church with this helpful resource.
  2. Start early. Bridging from children’s ministry
    to youth ministry isn’t a one-time event. Hopefully, you’ve spent
    the entire year introducing your kids to your youth minister. If
    you haven’t, start now. Have your youth minister come to your venue
    and just spend time with kids, then come back and lead part of your
    program the next time. Then take your kids to a youth group time to
    just hang out for awhile. The next time, let them stay the entire
    time. This way when it’s  time for them to move on, they won’t
    feel quite so strange.
  3. Buddy up. Partner your preteens with kids in
    the youth group who’ll take them under their wing–especially in
    the beginning–and notice if they happen to go AWOL. These older
    kids can answer any questions and pull preteens into the
    group.
  4. Be sensitive but firm. Some of your preteens,
    after graduating from your children’s ministry, will all of a
    sudden develop a strong desire to serve in the children’s ministry.
    Sound techs, anyone? That’s fine if they’re also plugged into the
    youth group. But if they’re not, they might be avoiding making the
    transition. Partner with the youth minister to figure out how these
    kids can make the transition–and perhaps serve as well.

What else have you done to help preteens bridge from children’s
ministry to youth ministry?

Share.

About Author

Christine Yount Jones

Christine has more than 26 years of children’s ministry experience. She is the Executive Editor of Children’s Ministry Magazine, has authored many books and articles on children’s ministry, and serves as Group’s Children’s Ministry Champion. She’s responsible for development and innovation of new resources.

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