Preteen Ministry: A Parent's Reflection

Preteen disciples and their friends spill Nerf bullets all over the lower level in a series of games this January.

Preteen disciples and their friends spill Nerf bullets all over the lower level in a series of games this January.

5th and 6th graders are a tough crowd. 

They aren't quite little kids anymore, but they don't quite fit in with the confirmation students either. They are stuck in-between and are sometimes overlooked, even at church. There are so many activities for the little kids to participate in, but my 6th grader didn't want to go because she was "too old for that." There are a ton of things for the Confirmation kids and high school kids to do, but she isn't quite old enough for those. So when Sam Good, our Director of Children and Family Ministries, came up with the idea to start up a preteen ministry, I was beyond thrilled!

I have discovered, through experience, that 11 and 12-year-olds are sometimes not particularly fun to be around. They can be a little on the grumpy side; they like to roll their eyes; they think their parents are completely lame; they want to spend more time with their friends and less time with their parents. I'm all for encouraging independence, but I'm not about to drop my preteen off at the mall and leave her there. The preteen ministry has provided a safe, FUN, faith-filled environment for those incredibly tough preteen years and it has been priceless.

Preteens have fun in a team building exercise at an all-night lock-in last summer.

Preteens have fun in a team building exercise at an all-night lock-in last summer.

“We have watched our daughter's confidence and spirituality grow this year, and I have no doubts that I owe that, in part, to all the time she's been spending at church with the preteen ministry program.”

She has been able to participate in a lock-in, a bowling night, Nerf wars, and a movie night, to name a few activities. She has very enthusiastically wanted to invite her closest friends every time an activity has popped up in the Messenger. One recent activity she attended was a movie night -- I picked up all of Haylie's friends, and as I drove across town to drop them off at church, they were all excitedly (and loudly...in very high pitched voices) chatting in the backseat and I overheard them saying, "Your church is so awesome," "We love your church," and  "I wish I went to a church that has things like this for us." Of course I also heard them say, "Sam and Tucker are SO COOL," which in preteen language is the ultimate compliment, I'm pretty sure.

The preteen ministry is priceless. It gives these kids a chance to really connect to church and to God. At a time in their lives when peer pressure is at an all-time high and it's so important to feel they are a part of something, this ministry came along and has helped them feel connected. It helps them feel they are an important part of the church community, and it is building the groundwork for a faith-filled life. I don't think I can ask for much more than that.

-Sarah Hembrook



This ministry is for our 5th and 6th grade students. To get your preteen involved, bring them to our upcoming event at Sky Zone, Friday, February 1, 7-8 p.m. - Only $5 per person! Let Sam Good know if you can make it.

Tucker GoodComment