Preteen Ministry: Why It and You Are Important
If you were a child growing up in church a few years ago, you looked forward to the days that you would be in the Youth Ministry. On the other side of Children’s Ministry was a sense of freedom, adventure, and discovering your faith on your own. Children’s Ministry was fun and your foundation expanded on Biblical truths that started when you were one of the “littles” in the church. For many of us, it was in the Children’s Ministry that we began our personal walk with Jesus and were baptized. Loving and nurturing adults poured into our lives and made sure we didn’t fall away… completely. Following your baptism you were asked to serve, be a leader, set an example, guide the younger kids, and much more. The challenge was that we didn’t really know how or what it meant to be a leader or a church member. We really didn’t understand what this new person in our life that people called the Holy Spirit was, or what our identity in Christ meant. On top of these challenges were these weird emotions for the opposite gender, temptations creeping in, and dreams of what we would actually be when we grew up. We looked forward with anticipation to the days of Youth Ministry where we could finally get these answers!
All of these things are why Preteen Ministry is so important! Kids growing up in church still desiring to begin their walk with Jesus between 9-12 years old (preteen age). They still want to be leaders and walk with God. In the midst of the challenges we had, I would say kids today have so many more. Temptations are starting at much younger ages. These temptations include: the internet, cable television, smart phones, standardized testing, broken homes, drugs, alcohol, mental illness, pop culture and music, and the demands of extra curricular activities. Many of the preteen age kids are deciding if the “Jesus Road” is the path to take. The reality is that they are being pulled emotionally, physically, and spiritually in so many directions that their lives are a constant STRETCH!
Stretch 456 is about guiding kids along this part of their lives. It’s about adults of any age pouring and investing into them. It’s about helping answer their questions with Biblical truth, engaging them in genuine worship, and deepening their faith roots. The most important time for Stretch is Sunday mornings at 9:30 and 11 am! Come check it out sometime. They are a great group of 4th-6th grade kids who are hungry to learn more, eager to serve, and loud enough to change the world they live in! That means you, as parents and church members, reading this are also VERY IMPORTANT!
~ Matt Lee