Want your preteens to know the true meaning of
Christmas? Do you wish you could get the Christmas message to stick
in your preteens' hearts and minds? Look no further. Today I'm
excited to share with you a guest blog written by Nick Diliberto,
creator of PreteenMinistry.net.
If you haven't heard of Nick or visited his website, go
bookmark it right now. Nick has more than 13 years of experience
working in preteen ministry, and his website contains relevant
resources and cool ideas for those of us working with
Here, Nick shares steps you can take to make the Christmas
message stick with preteens!
The story of Christmas is a familiar one to preteens. Knowing
the story of Jesus' birth is life-changing--so how do we make the
Christmas message "stick" in their hearts and minds? Here are some
1. Make It Real. When sharing the Christmas
message, talk about how Jesus' birth and life impacts students'
lives in the here and now. The core message of Christmas and Jesus'
birth is summed up in the word Immanuel, which means God is with
us. How many preteens have sung songs and heard that word repeated
but missed the meaning?God is with us means that we have access to
a relationship with Jesus now. God is present here on earth.
Because of Jesus, we can have a real relationship with the creator
of the universe! Use Christmas as an opportunity to talk about what
that looks like in the life of a preteen.
2. Be Experiential. Preteens disengage when we
"preach" to them. They don't want to sit for 20 minutes and listen
to you communicate information. They learn best when you use a
hands-on, experiential approach to learning. With that in mind,
here are some experiential, fun activities that work with a
Christmas related lesson.
Balloon Race--Give each preteen a
balloon with their name on it. Have the kids stand in a straight
line, shoulder to shoulder, on one side of a room. Invite all the
kids to blow up their balloons and then release them at the same
time. The player's balloon that lands closest to the opposite wall
wins.The point: God is with us and within us. He is as close to us
as our very breath. Just as we breathed air into our balloons, God
breathes His spirit into us.
Shepherds, Angels, and You--Open
your Bible to Luke 2:8. Read the story of the shepherds and the
angels, and then divide your group into Shepherds and Angels and
act it out!
Always think of ways to add fun, hands-on activities to help
drive home the point. Preteens will be more engaged, making the
3. Reach Out. Preteens can get caught up in the
consumerism of Christmas, which creates an "all about me" attitude.
Fourth- through sixth- graders learn best by doing, and jump at the
chance to make a difference. So give them the opportunity to reach
out to those in your community.
- Operation Christmas Child
- Give up a gift they receive this Christmas and instead give it
to a child in need.
- Volunteer at a local food shelter.
- Volunteer to wrap gifts at the mall during the busy shopping
Allow preteens to be a part of the planning process, and ask
them for ideas of how to serve the community. The more they are
involved in the planning, the more of an impact the experience will
have on them.
Nick Diliberto is creator of preteenministry.net, which provides creative
curriculum and resources for preteen ministry. He is also the
preteen columnist for Children's Ministry Magazine.
Looking for some more great Christmas ideas? We've got you
covered! We have heart angel
Christmas ornaments for little ones to make, 12 Advent activities, a
Christmas snack that looks
like a manger scene, free
Christmas music downloads, and even a Christmas game to get
everyone in the spirit of the season!
What do you have planned for your kids this Christmas? How do
you get the Christmas story to stick in their hearts? Do you talk
to your kids about Santa? Let us know in the comment section