I was thrilled to receive an email from Dan Scott about joining his blog tour for his new book: “Caught In Between“. This book focuses on a group of kids that fall into most kid’s ministries, but don’t always belong or fit in. I’m talking about preteens. The goal of this book is to help kids and youth leaders learn how to engage their preteen before they checkout. A preteen is defined as a kid who is 10-12 years old. The book is broken up into two parts: Who is a preteen? and How can the church help them? It is full of research and ideas on how to help you understand and minister to this tricky age group. At the end of the book, Dan provides next steps to give you a practical guide on how to implement a preteen ministry in your church. Included in this section are worksheets and checklists to help you along the way.
I have always had a huge heart for ministering to preteens. I love offering ministries and serving opportunities for this age group because it is such a crucial age. I received my calling to ministry when I was 10 years old. I know these kids are ready to experience God’s presence, hear God’s voice, and begin serving.
Dan Scott chocked this book full of interesting research and quotes that will help you realize just how important it is for us to reach this age group.
- “Today’s preteens are getting lost in transition as they shift from childhood to adolescence, a unique and challenging time when they are not quite one thing and not quite the other.”
- “Their preteen years set the course for the rest of their lives.”
- “And with 40 percent of preteens on a smart device, consuming an average of 9 hours of media per day…”
- “The brain of an 11-year-old is changing at a rate similar to that of a 3-year-old’s.”
- “The way a preteen values friendships may be one of the greatest transitions of this phase.”
- “For some kids, the preteen years are when faith starts to unravel as what they’re experiencing conflicts with what they’ve learned.”
- “We need to create a safe place for preteens to think through the possible answers to their faith questions.”
- “A recent study mentioned that by the time they are 18, 50 percent of all kids in the United States will experience the breakup of their parents.”
- “Preteens have a hard time separating what they do from who they are.”
- “Our job is to move preteens from learning facts about the Bible to finding themselves in the Bible.”
1. Friendships/relationships are important.
Preteens begin to really care about having friends and who likes them or dislikes them. They need to have friends to hang out with and sit with at church or they will most likely not want to attend. Their relationships with the leaders and small group leaders at church matter too. Make sure you are looking for leaders who love and care about the kids and what matters to them.
2. They need something just for them.
Try to find ways of creating spaces or ministries that are just for your preteens. They need to know that have a place that is just for them. This could be a small group, serving opportunities, events, or even a preteen environment.
3. You don’t have to have a preteen environment to do preteen ministry.
Many people believe that you have to have a physical space or environment to start a ministry, but you can definitely get creative in what you offer for this age group even if you don’t have a dedicated space. We offer a 5th-6th grade small group on Sundays, serving opportunities and a community group that meets once a month offsite. We don’t have a dedicated room or environment at the church for this age group, but we are effectively reaching and engaging them.
If you have kids between the ages of 10-12 in your ministry you are going to want to pick up this book. It will help you find ways to engage the preteens you already have in your ministry and bring more of them into your ministry in the future. You can pick up your copy here!
I’m giving away a free copy to one amazing leader! All you have to do to enter is comment on this post why you would love to have this book to help you in your ministry to preteens. Bonus entries for liking KidMin Corinne on Facebook and following kidmincorinne on Instagram. Make sure you are subscribed to kidmincorinne.com to stay updated on all things kid’s ministry! The winner will be announced on Monday, August 6th.
Update: And the winner is… Tory Almond! Please message me your address so I can have your book sent out to you!