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D6 Conference & Preteens!

September 20, 2011 — Leave a comment

I’m heading to the airport at 4:30 AM–yes, that’s AM–tomorrow morning so that I can be at the precon labs for D6 conference.  I’m excited about this conference and seeing what others are doing in the workings of Family Ministry.

I’m looking for big takeaways from each session, and I’ll be blogging about those from the conference.  I’ll share all that I can over the next few days–especially that which pertains to the world of preteens!  Keep checking back because there may be multiple posts per day.

If you’re going to D6, I’d love to connect with you–especially those who are working with preteens.  Send me a tweet or leave a comment to let me know you’re going, and we’ll plan a meet and greet. (The official D6 hashtag is #D62011)

If you’re unable to catch the D6 conference in person, you can see the sessions streaming live HERE.

If you didn’t already know, I’m a nerd. When something catches my interest, I really want to study it and research it to learn more. In college, I did research for my final thesis on the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Here is a little background…

In 1983, Howard Gardner put forth the idea of Multiple Intelligences. The theory of Multiple Intelligences is met with skepticism due to lack of research, but many educational systems still use components of his theory. Gardner suggests that intelligence goes beyond simply reading and writing.  Gardner’s theory proposed 8 abilities in which “intelligence” could be measured.  They are:

  • Logical-Mathematical—learns through the use of reasoning, patterns, and numbers (computer programmer, detective) 
  • Spatial—learns through use of visualizing and designing with the mind’s eye (architect) 
  • Linguistic—learns through use of words, written and/or spoken (author)
  •  Bodily-Kinesthetic—learns through the use of movement, motions, and activity (athlete)
  •  Musical—learns through the use of music, rhythm, and music theory (musician)
  • Interpersonal—learns through the interaction with others (sales person)
  • Intrapersonal—learns through the act of self-reflection (psychologists, lawyers)
  • Naturalistic—learns through relating information to natural surroundings (farmer, agriculturist)

That’s a really brief and insufficient explanation of the theory, but you can read tons more about it—the good and the bad—by googling it. It will have to do for this blog. My research into this theory was how it could be implemented in ministry curriculum to help kids better understand God’s Truth.  I think it has great potential to be used in churches and to better the learning experience of all age groups, but ESPECIALLY PRETEENS!

Sunday, we put it into practice.  We were wrapping up a unit with 5th graders on spiritual warfare.  As a review, we set up 5 stations and allowed students to choose their activity for the day. The stations were: Music, Body, Numbers, Words, and Pictures.  If a student chose Music, then they were given a passage of scripture relating to spiritual warfare and asked to create a song or rap that shared what they had learned from the passage.  Each station did similar activities relating to that form of “intelligence,” or as we called it “learning style.” 

As a Preteen Pastor, I know the struggle it is to get this age group to participate and really engage in a project. We often force them to all do the same things and the results are horrendous.  By allowing them to choose the activity, we saw what their natural preferences or learning styles were.  And since they chose the station, we had no problem getting them to actively participate.  The result…AMAZING!  There were incredible stories written, very talented rappers showed their rhyming skills, beautiful artwork, awesome skits, and really cool puzzles/riddles—all of which showed that the students understood what we had been teaching. And even better, it showed that they were able to share that knowledge with other students through their chosen learning style.

I’m excited to keep researching and integrating this into our curriculum.  There’s not enough space here to share all that we did or all that we’re planning, but I’d love share more or answer questions. If you’d like to know more, send me a tweet or leave a comment below.

Imagine if you woke up to find that all your clothes were 2 sizes too large and all your shoes were 2 sizes too small. How would you feel being forced to wear something that was obviously created with someone else in mind?

What if, on that same day, you realized that all television stations spoke in a foreign language that you could not understand? Not only are you frustrated and confused, but you are also mission out on much needed information.

This scenario is exaggerated a bit, but I can only imagine that this is what a preteen feels like when their church experience is not something designed specifically for them. Preteens don’t need an adult curriculum or a “children’s” curriculum anymore than you need enormously large clothes or ridiculously small shoes!  This age group needs opportunities to ask tough questions and see how Scripture gives them answers. Preteens are unique and they deserve a curriculum that fits their life right now.

Lifeway understood the unique needs of preteens, and they’ve produced a curriculum that every leader should explore. I got a chance to review FLYTE, Lifeway’s preteen curriculum, and I was really impressed with the thought and production that went into this series.  Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Awesome graphics and videos to go with lessons (this is HUGE for preteens)
  • Biblically-solid teaching that applies Scripture to preteen issues
  • Teaches preteens the difference between “world’s answer” and “God’s answer”
  • 2-year scope and sequence that can also be used as stand-alone lessons/units
  • Tons of extras—training material and videos, blog, product specialists, leader devotions, student devotions, and much more
  • MOST IMPORTANT—gives preteens the opportunity to explore the Bible and discover God’s plan and purpose for this stage of life

Based on what I saw in this curriculum, I think it is definitely a home run for preteen ministry.  Price is always an issue for ministries, and, well, this curriculum isn’t free.  However, I believe the curriculum is well worth the cost considering it’s effectiveness and all the extras that you’ll receive. 

Don’t take my word for it though—go check it out!  See more at Lifeway’s Website.

<p>FLYTE Promo from LifeWay Kids on Vimeo.</p>

 

I don’t know about you but I LOVE free stuff.  I especially love free stuff that can help me to connect preteens with the Bible. 

This morning, I reviewed the graphic novel series produced by the peeps over at The Almighty Bible. This afternoon, they have 2 copies of II Samuel and Acts that they are giving away for free to two lucky readers. 

If you would like to win a pair of books from this awesome series from The Almighty Bible, tweet the following:

@Pastor_MattMo is giving away a copy of II Samuel and Acts from @almightyBible http://thealmightybible.com/  Check it out at mattmo.org

If you’re not a “Tweeter”, leave a comment on the blog or on facebook to enter the giveaway.  I will randomly choose TWO WINNERS on Thursday.

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