Highlight: Preteen Leaders' Conference

Last week, the FourFiveSix team led the Preteen Leaders’ Conference in Rocklin, CA. We had 160 leaders from around the country (and some Canadians) gather to learn how to take the next step in their preteen ministries. By the way, the dates for next year’s conference is April 17-19, 2013 and it will be hosted in Indiana (near Indianapolis).

I soaked in every moment and wrote down tons of notes.

Here is the big takeaway I wanted to share with you: The delivery methods were extremely helpful.

Participants got a sneak peak into three preteen ministries (Elevate, Beyond & 56) during three 1.5 hour sessions. For years, the FourFiveSix team has talked about the importance of letting go of the bike. This year, we offered three ways that philosophy is expressed in three preteen ministries. We answered the question…How do you equip preteens to own their faith? I wish I could bring what I and others experienced, but I simply can’t. You have to go to the conference next year.

But I do have a takeaway for you: Discover your delivery method.

If your goal is to let go of the bike or help preteens own their faith in Jesus, then your delivery method is how you go about doing that. It  encompasses everything from the videos you show, lessons you teach, small group questions you ask, worship songs you lead, etc. Basically, it’s the way you go about helping preteens to walk with God on their own (as you walk alongside them).

The danger of coming to a conference or reading a book/blog is that many offer a method of doing ministry. Many then duplicate that method. Why is that bad? Because every church, community and preteen ministry is different. You can’t take a cookie cutter approach. Instead, discover your delivery method.

How do you discover your delivery method?  Chew the meat and spit out the bones.

Find out what other preteen leaders are doing and observe them. Ask for the philosophy behind the programming elements. Pick their brains. Read blogs and look at available preteen curriculum. Come to the preteen leaders’ conference next year. Team up with other preteen leaders in your local area and brainstorm together. Dream together. Educate yourself on preteen development so you understand what makes them tick. Then, throw out what doesn’t work for you and keep what does. Experiment and tweak along the way. Over time you will discover your delivery method. You’ll discover what’s effective at your church, in your community, with your preteens.

Our team at FourFiveSix is at Lake Tahoe right now for a three-day retreat. Our goal is to map out ways we can help you do all this. I’ll talk more about our plans in an upcoming blog post.

2 Responses to “Highlight: Preteen Leaders' Conference

  • I agree. We are revapping the youth department at our church. I am so excited, my husband and I have been given the chance to be over. But yes, among some of the teachers I can see a zeal here or there and then a teacher or two-who loves God, but is in a routine. No fire in them-which worries me. Because fire spreads and if they are not lit then how can the ministry spread. Preteen or”tween”age is a fragile and imperative time. Do you have any advice how I can try to remind some of the teachers of this mission for our youth?

    • ndiliberto
      8 years ago

      Great comment. Yes, my advice is to keep your ministries vision in front of your team.

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