I’ve pretty much tried everything when it comes to designing a service targeting 4th-6th Graders. Below is what has been proven successful for us. Hope it is helpful to you. These five components can be mixed out of order often to add variety.

1. Worship
A live band is ideal. It adds life and excitement to a worship experience. I’ve seen video worship successful too. Experiment with what works for your preteens. Just make sure to have it.

2. Announcements
Keep your group up to date on what is going on in your program by announcing events, trips, meeting times, etc.

3. Fun game
Why not have a cool game with no particular point to it other than having fun? I see ministries who have a hard time with this, wanting every element of the service to be related to main point. But I’ve discovered that having a few minutes of pure fun is very beneficial. Preteens want to have fun. It doesn’t need to be the focus, just make it apart of the service.

4. Message
Stay within 10-12 minutes. Use drama, object lessons, video clips from popular movies, etc. Be creative, energetic and upbeat. I like to focus on three types of series and rotate them throughout the year. 1) DNA – what values are unique to your church or denomination? Teach it. 2) TOPICAL. What do 4th-6th graders struggle with? Our team recently polled preteens and found out the issues they struggled with the most were: parents, school, and friends. Find out what your preteens struggle with and point them to how God helps them out with these issues. 3) BASICS. It is important for preteens need to know the basics of their faith. Figure out what foundational concepts you want them to grasp and teach those things. I personally feel published curriculum lacks a balance of all three. If you can create your own curriculum, then do it. If not, which is probably most of us, then get good at adapting it to fit all three types.

5. Small group
4th-6th graders need to experience the lesson and talk about it. They want a place they can be real, ask questions, and get prayer. What better way to do that then in a small group?

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