It is important for preteens to have fun. Here are some creative ways to add excitement to your ministry.
1. Capitalize on common interests
Find interests the preteens have in common – understand their “world”. Look at teen magazines to familiarize yourself with latest trends, fashions, buzz words, and popular celebrities in the preteen world. Spend time in a classroom where many of your kids attend school. Go to school awards ceremonies, talent shows, or special events. These are the places where you’ll see what’s really going on in students’ lives. Remember, kids aren’t expecting you to be like them- just to be aware of who they are.
2. Create preteen spaces
Give preteens their own environment (room). Ask for their insight and ideas as you decorate. Pick a theme that reflects their culture. Lean heavily toward the older child when programming for preteens. Music, videos, lessons skits, games, and other parts of programming should reflect an older child look and feel. Make the oldest boy in the room your programming target. If he thinks things are “cool”, then you will hit every preteen in the room
3. Vary events and locations
Do a lot of fun things at different venues- like social events, retreats, or mission projects in the community. Another great idea is to look for ways for preteen to serve others. They love to participate in service projects.
4. Take advantage of technology
Use videos and slideshows. Incorporate learning activities that will let them use their tablets or iPads or computers. Develop social media sites just for the preteen group – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or a blog site. Use these sites to keep them informed of events/activities and services and to provide them with relevant devotionals or other spiritual encouragement from time-to-time.
5. Plan unique activities
Don’t be afraid to have fun! Preteens love to play games, get messy, and do extreme activities. Make things lively and exciting with game music. If you have the facilities and resources, use lighting and sound wisely and be colorful. You want every child to feel like they belong and have a vested interest in being there with their friends.