FAITH BASICS OF PRETEENS

Preteens are capable of having a genuine relationship with God. After all, Christianity isn’t about following a list of rules or regulations. Its about so much more – a dynamic relationship with our Creator. So, what can you expect when it comes to the faith of preteens?.

1. RELATIONSHIPS ARE IMPORTANT
Relationships with other preteens are essential to developing a healthy faith in God. They need to do life together with other Christian friends and have God be in the picure.

2. ALLOW PRETEENS TO PROCESS THE LESSON
Preteens need time to process what is taught to them. Don’t expect them to “get it” just because you taught it. Allow them time to wrestle with questions about faith and God. Avoid asking yes/no or right/wrong questions. Ex: “Do you think other religions lead to God? Why or why not?” Or. “Why is it hard for you to believe everything in the Bible is true?” Get them really thinking and wrestling with thier beliefs.

3. EMPHASIZE APPLICATION
Preteens also need application. Adults can hear a message and automatically figure out application, but preteens can’t connect the dots as easily. Give them one or two simple things they can do during the week to apply the lesson. They also want to be given opportunities to do something with their faith by serving others. So, take them on mission trips, either local or elsewhere. Host outreaches in your community. Have them serve food to the poor or host a DVD drive. Tell preteens to gather old DVD’s or buy some new ones to donate to an orphanage or children’s hospital in your community. Give them ways to put thier faith in action.

4. BE AUTHENTIC
Preteens are capable of having an authentic relationship with God rather than it being something that only comes from their parents. Challenge them to talk with God, pray with one another, and share their faith with their friends. Talk with them about baptism and give them an opportunity to get baptized if they are ready. Communicate that Christianity isn’t about a list of rules to follow, but something much deeper. The heart of a preteen, like all of us, craves a real dynamic relationship with the living God. Talk about what that looks like in your life and challenge them to own the relationship for themselves.

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