Grapple On, Preteens!


You know that encounter Jesus had with the woman who asked him to heal her daughter, and he basically calls her a dog? Our pastor preached on that yesterday. It's in Mark 7.

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When asked if we thought Jesus was just being rude, most of us raised our hand. But then John (our pastor) said that Jesus was simply being the master teacher. Already, the disciples had asked Jesus to send her away, not understanding that Jesus came for everyone. So Jesus masterfully used the moment to create cognitive dissonance in his followers to make the point.

And I sat there thinking–that's exactly what we do in Grapple for Preteens curriculum. In the large group setting, we create dissonance or "ask the question" so kids get in touch with what they're wondering about: What if Jesus is a liar? How can I know the Bible is true? Why can't I go to PG-13 movies? Do I really have to love everyone?

Then after that, they're challenged to dig into the Word and find God's answers.

I love Grapple for this very reason! I was talking to Deb Helmers, one of our assistant editors, just last week and she said she loves Grapple because that's what we all need to do in our faith journey. When we have questions, grapple with them and go to the Word of God for answers.

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If you've never checked out Grapple for your upper-elementary kids, do it today. You won't be disappointed (Oh! and I didn't even tell you how the take-home piece is a website community for your class.) Go to for more.


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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