how to teach in preteen ministry

A few months ago I was cleaning out my garage and came across a series of 3 books published in 2007 (now out of print) by Group Publishing called Preteen Launchables. One of them was titled, Preteen Ministry Blueprint. Much of the content in that book about teaching preteens is still fundamental to preteen ministry today.

So, I decided to feature some of the content in a series of blog posts. This is part 1.

Here goes.

[Enter Preteen Ministry Blueprint by Group Publishing.]

Teaching preteens is not lecture. If your teaching mini-sermons to preteens, then it is time to take a different approach.

A preteen teacher is a:

  • Guide
  • Facilitator
  • Explorer
  • Partner
  • Coach

Why? Because for preteens to really learn, they need to process information, make discoveries, and choose for themselves.

This is not school, so don’t make it like school.

How then do you become the kind of teacher preteens need?

Try these strategies:

  • Focus on one point. Keep it simple, focused, and meaningful to them.

  • Use active learning (even more so if you’re still meeting online). Create living metaphors where preteens experience truths and make discoveries about their faith.

  • Involve preteens. Look for ways to get preteens into the learning… digging into the Bible, helping dramatize a Bible story, creating a video about a real-life application of a faith principle.

  • Get preteens talking. Interview them in front of the rest of the group or ask them questions as you get the lesson started. Have them turn to one another and discuss a question or in breakout groups if meeting online. Ask them to share an insight or talk about something from their life.

  • Consider preteens’ gray matter. Preteens are moving in and out of concrete thinking (what they can see, feel and touch) and abstract thinking (what they can think about but don’t see, feel or touch). So move lessons from the concrete to the abstract and then back again to reach all your preteens.

[Enter Nick]

Well there you have it. I hope those nuggets of truth are helpful for you. Especially as you begin to look forward to 2021.

Nick Diliberto

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