Archives For children’s ministry


Have you ever wondered what makes a great leader “great”? It’s the time of year when we are doing interviews and placing volunteers for the new ministry year. As we go through this process, I have been reminded of this quote:

The people in and around your ministry will define your ministry.

Preteens, parents, and other potential volunteers will make judgments about your ministry based on what they see, and what they predominately see are the volunteers that you place in ministry.

Does that make you nervous to think about? It makes me nervous! It also makes the process of enlisting leaders even more important. Here are some qualities that we look for in our recruitment and interview process:

1. Passionate faith
Our expectation is that a volunteer will encourage preteens to grow in their faith. To do so, it is imperative that a volunteer displays a passionate faith. A passionate faith is like a virus that spreads throughout the group and infects every member.

2. Value people and relationships
A volunteer called to build relationships with preteens needs to value relationships. Even more so, we want leaders that can develop relationships with other leaders and parents. These relationships are tremendously helpful to the entire ministry.

3. Teachable
Even the 20-year ministry veteran has room for growth, so leaders need to be teachable. In addition to being teachable, we look for leaders who are “teachers.” Every experience in ministry is an opportunity to learn and share with other leaders to help them grow. Leaders who are teachable and teachers are worth their weight in gold!

4. Balance
The commitment to ministry is not always convenient. Someone who is over-committed in many areas of life will never achieve their full potential in ministry. When enlisting leaders, look for individuals who show balance in their life. They will most likely be able to manage the commitment of ministry and be successful in it.

5. Experience
We would love for every volunteer to have 10-20 years of experience in preteen ministry, but that’s not likely and that’s not really what we mean by experience. Great leaders have experience that is life-based. They have spent time under a faithful mentor, or they have experienced God working in their life in a mighty way. This type of experience is a well to draw from when leading a group of preteens.

What qualities do you look for in potential volunteers?


Summer is officially here and it’s a hot one. Summer can be a slow time for preteen ministry, but that doesn’t meant you have to lose momentum. A great way to connect with your preteens during the summer is to host a game day or water day. This event will give preteens the opportunity to fellowship together, and it will help you to promote for your ministry launch in the fall.

If you’re like me, even in the summer you don’t have a lot of time to plan an event like this. Lucky for you the planning has already been done! PreteenMinistry.net has a Summer Game Pack loaded with 15 games that will add excitement to a water day, summer camp, or any ministry gathering. The Summer Game Pack is only $19, so you should definitely go get it today!

Have a summer camp or ministry event planned for July?
Let me know about it in a comment below and I will email you a game from the game pack for free!

One of the hardest things for me to do is rest. I can take a day off, and then fill the day with busy work and meaningless tasks. I can come home and be lazy, but not actually relax as God has intended.

It has helped me to read what Exodus 20 says about Sabbath rest. The greatest truth that stands out in these verses is that God rested. He did not rest from weakness or exhaustion. God rested in His creation. This means he took time to sit back and delight in what He created. Then, he “hallowed” the day for us to do the same. His desire is for us to have moments, days, weeks to sit and delight in Him and His work.

I honestly don’t do this enough. It’s so hard for me to unplug from work, family, and everything else. Two weeks ago, I got the chance to take a few days and just rest. My family spent 4 days in a cabin in the Ozark mountains with no tv, no internet, and not a thing to do other than rest and enjoy nature. We take this trip every year, and it is always a highlight of my year.

Enjoying Sunset at the Cabin


This is what I’ve learned about rest:

    1. It makes me a nicer person
    It’s amazing how a little bit of rest can take the edge off. I’ve found that being over-worked makes me a grumpy. When I’m grumpy, I get whiny. When I get whiny, no one likes me. When no one likes me, I don’t like them. Simply put: Rest makes me a nicer person.

    2. It makes me more effective
    When times are stressful, the temptation is to bear down and work harder. I tend to think that I can push through just about any obstacle, but sometimes a restful break is much more effective. After rest, you can re-approach everything with a fresh mind and renewed heart.

    3. It makes me appreciate work
    Serving in ministry has got to be the greatest job on the planet. There are so many parts of my job that I absolutely love, but there are also those parts that could come in a smaller dose. I’ve found that rest helps me appreciate everything I get to do.


Last week was a busy one. We did the lion’s share of renovation work on our new preteen ministry space. There were several late nights of work for myself and some awesome teammates, but there was one big job that we did not do. We did not paint the walls. We let 12-year-olds do that.

Actually, preteens and their parents did the painting. We got coffee, donuts, and 20 gallons of paint. Then, we set them loose with paint rollers. It probably wasn’t a “professional grade” paint job. And it did have its share of messy moments, including some carpet squares being drenched in paint. (I’m sure I’ll hear about that at staff meeting!)

But it was all worth it for one major reason…buy in. We’re making a lot of changes to preteen ministry, and it is crucial that we gain the trust and support of the parents. Painting allowed preteens and parents to take ownership of the room and in essence the ministry. There was a buzz in the room, and some parents even commented on the fact that they loved “getting their hands dirty” for this ministry. And I’m sure that when we launch in August, there will be more than one preteen remark about who painted what and who spilled paint where!

You might not want to let preteens paint the outside of your church or the worship venue, but it might be a great step to let them paint a classroom or hallway. Just be sure that you cover the carpet!

Stay tuned for pictures of the new space and details on how we’re programming for the new ministry year!