The life of a preteen is full of change. These three experiences for your preteen ministry classroom will help prepare your preteens for these changes.
3 Experiences for Your Preteen Ministry Classroom
1. Mean Girls
Preteen girls can be mean-really mean. Girls between ages 9 and 11 are breaking away from parental influences and are more influenced by their peers. Mean girl behavior like leaving someone out, gossiping, and bullying can be subtle and cruel, even for preteens. Help girls in your ministry navigate through peer relationships and be a positive influence in others’ lives with these tips.
Teach young preteens the value of being empathetic toward others. Have girls practice empathy through service to others and by valuing each person in your group.
Establish all-girl small groups in your ministry where preteens can practice honesty and discuss peer issues in an environment that’s non-judgmental and offers biblical guidance.
When you observe girls behaving maliciously, call them on it. Tell girls that although you don’t appreciate or allow this kind of behavior in your preteen ministry classroom, you care about them and want them to love each other as Jesus loves them. Offer compassion for girls who are victims of mean girls and remind them how loved they are by you and God.
2. What’s In a Name?
Use this experience with preteens to help them discover the meaning of their names and to remember that God knows them by name.
- 11×14-inch white paper,
- books or Websites containing name meanings, and
- a Bible.
Ask preteens if they know why their parents chose their names and let them share their stories. Ask kids to discuss the following questions.
- Has anyone ever called you by the wrong name? How did that feel?
- Is it easy or difficult to imagine yourself with another name? Explain.
- Why do you think names mean so much to us?
Have kids use books or Websites to look up the meaning of their names and then make posters for their rooms that say, “God knows me by name!” Have kids each include their name and its meaning on their posters. Afterward, read aloud John 10:1-5 to remind preteens that God knows us and calls us by name.
3. Strength Training
Host an event for preteen boys to provide information on proper strength training and healthy food. Invite community or church members certified in martial arts, boxing, or weight training to provide demonstrations and information. Ask a nurse, medical doctor, or nutritionist to discuss healthy weight gain, workout regimens, and dangers of steroids. Close by reading Philippians 4:13 and Hebrews 13:9. Remind boys their ultimate strength comes from God.
San Diego, California
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