Here are a bunch of ideas and beliefs that we have about preteen ministry. These ides and
beliefs are what make this curriculum different from other curricula out there. They are in
no particular order. They are here to give you a better understanding of our product, and
why we do what we do, the way we do it.
Preteen Ministry can be more THEOLOGICAL
An accurate understanding of who God is, and who you are to Him is transformative.
Warped ideas about God’s nature can be destructive. The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is
the full revelation of God. So everything we need to know about God is found in Jesus.
Every lesson highlights truth about God, as revealed in the person of Jesus.
Preteen Ministry can be more BIBLICAL
The Bible is not a tool or a resource that is used to communicate a chosen message. The Bible IS the message. This curriculum is Bible based, above everything else.
Preteen Ministry can be more EXISTENTIAL
Truth about God reveals truth about us, and our existence. Truth about God opens our eyes to reality inside His Kingdom. Our goal is to understand ourselves the way God understands us; to see what He sees in us and in others. As this happens, our ideas about reality change. The world’s lies are unveiled, and the truth sets us free.
Preteen Ministry can be more PERSONAL
Discussion questions are great, but different kids process things differently. What if different methods and styles were not only allowed, but encouraged? What if introverted kids weren’t forced to process ideas as though they were extroverts? What if, instead of answering questions about what they should do, kids are making plans about what they will do?
Preteen Ministry can be more LIFE CHANGING
Every week students need to confront the question, “What am I going to change because of what I just learned?”
The Preteen Bible Project incorporates these questions, and others like it, into the Live It Out handout that is included in every lesson.
Preteen Ministry CAN’T BYPASS THE HEART
Often, a curriculum takes scriptural truth straight to application, while completely bypassing the heart. For example, the Fruits of the Spirit are broken down into lessons that say things like, “Joy is a fruit of the spirit, so you need to be more joyful.” But this misses the entire point of the verse, which is a heart issue. Galatians five isn’t saying that behaving in these ways sets you right with God. It is saying that if you are in a right relationship with God - if your heart is right, then these fruits will grow out of your life. The “fruits list” of Galatians five is not a prescription, it is a diagnostic tool.
When we address behavior without getting at the heart issues, we are teaching salvation by works. We are falling into the same trap the Pharisees fell into. We are missing out on the beauty of God’s grace and transformational power, and we are teaching self-reliance instead of God-reliance.
When we address the heart issues, we invite kids to experience God’s transformational power. We teach the Biblical reality that God is in the process of transforming us. We witness changes in behavior. We are teaching something fresh and different.
Preteen Ministry can OFFER KIDS OPTIONS FOR PROCESSING
Discussion time can be very uncomfortable. Up to 50% of your students are introverts. Many of them will disengage in a group discussion, especially when they do not know everyone in the group. Newer students can feel uncomfortable with the depth of questions that are sprung on them. Highly sensitive kids are trying to read the group and take their cues from piers. Leaders get frustrated with interruptions and the kids who won’t open up. The small group discussion model is tailored for the personality type of about 20% of our kids. This is why a few kids drive most of the conversation. Maybe it’s not about writing better questions or better training for leaders. It’s time to try something else. We need to stop expecting our kids to all behave like highly social, low sensitivity, extroverts.
Our Live It Out Guide is designed to be as a group discussion guide, an individual review guide, a take home devotional, or it can be used with pairs of students who partner up. In my personal experience, I have been shocked at the positive results that occur when preteens are given the opportunity to review as a group, individually or in pairs. Many students who were once disrupting group discussions, were suddenly focused on the material, looking up Bible verses and praying alone, or with a partner.
This idea may seem counter to much of today’s church culture. Today there is a lot of emphasis on community and interpersonal experience. But remember that there is also a great deal of Biblical emphasis on personal study and prayer. If given the opportunity, students tend to gravitate toward the place where they will meet Jesus. And that place is different for each kid.
Our materials are streamlined and easy to use
It is very tempting to provide our customers with 43 implementation options, different file formats and an overwhelming load of other options and activities. We choose to give you a handful of really useful things, along with some tips and explanations, trusting that you are the most qualified person to figure out how to use these materials with your unique group of students. In my own personal experience, I have had the displeasure of wading through pages and pages of curriculum just trying to figure out what’s going on.
We want this to be simple. We want you to be able to get the product, look it over, and understand what you need to do within minutes. This is not a compromise in quality. It is an investment in quality over quantity, so that your job is easier.
If our streamlined approach inhibits your job, please let us know, because we take care of our customers. If we need to provide you with an image in a different file format or a lesson guide as a word doc instead of a pdf, just let us know, and we will do what we can. We would rather be simple and helpful, than complex and rigid.
We don’t include a lesson manuscript. Here’s why
As part of my job as a Pastor, each week I read our Sr. Pastor’s sermon manuscript before it is preached; but when I go to church, it is still like hearing the sermon for the first time. The Word of God is always more effective when spoken through a person. Their passions, frustrations, and insight come to life. I would encourage Preteen Pastors to teach these lessons live. The best method of doing so is to watch the lesson for yourself, take notes, and write out your own outline. If you do this, be sure to watch the Review Game Video and include information required to answer the questions. I would also encourage you to insert your own life stories as illustrations. And if you are at a multi-service church where your program runs every service, try teaching live every service except for one. For one service, have a key volunteer to use the video so that you can go to Church!
We get a little but PG-13 at times. And that’s important
If you have read the whole Bible then you know that it’s rated R. And while we are always careful about how mature content is stated, we must also be careful not to overlook it in a world where kids are exposed to “adult” issues every day. The sad truth is that there are certain topics that kids don’t talk to us about because we don’t talk to our kids about them. So we say things like “David took Bathsheba into his home as though she was his wife.” We say these things because they are in the Bible, they are true, and they speak to the world that today’s preteen lives in. While we don’t avoid this sort of content, we always opt to phrase it tastefully and respectfully.
So there you go..... These are some things that make the Preteen Bible Project different.
But don't just read about it, download a free lesson and see the differences yourself!
Also.... This list of stuff we believe about Preteen Ministry is not complete. It is a work in progress. Everything we believe is not listed out here, and probably never will be. But as more questions come in, we will update this section often.
What is the Preteen Bible Project?
Click here to find learn more about who we are and what we do
What do I get?
Click here to find out more about what resources you get from the Preteen Bible Project
How does it work?
Click here to find out more about how the Preteen Bible Project works
Click here to find out what makes the Preteen Bible Project different from other curricula
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