Archives For preteen ministry


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!


In life and in ministry, we all meet difficult people. Difficult people are those people who never approve of anything you do and always feel the need to let you know their disapproval. They consume much more of your time than is necessary just so they can complain about things that may or may not be under your control. These may be great people and they may have great intentions, but their emotions have taken over their brains. Their actions are not normal, and certainly not constructive. Whether they’re complaints are right or wrong, these “difficult people” can suck the life out of you.

I don’t have a foolproof way of dealing with difficult people, but I have picked up a few things over the years. Here are 5 tips for dealing with difficult people in a healthy way:

1. Don’t get defensive
When you become defensive, it paralyzes your ability to make good decisions. Most of the time, these people are approaching you with an outburst of emotion. The worst thing you can do is to respond by letting your emotions get out of control.

2. Respond with grace
No matter what they say or do, respond with an attitude of grace. When the Pharisees would complain or hurl insults at Jesus, He always kept a spirit of grace. Sure, Jesus would rebuke them. But He would also take the time to teach them to understand the Truth. Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

3. Listen closely for what they’re NOT saying
I’ve found that some complaints are only the tip of a much larger iceberg. Listen for clues that might point to the larger problem. It could be that they have been hurt by you or someone else, and their complaints are just a symptom of a much deeper wound.

4. Work toward resolution
The best way to deal with difficult people is to solve the difficult situation. Look for solutions without compromising your calling or vision for the ministry. Even with the most difficult people, they will often shed light on real problems that need to be solved.

5. When necessary, cut ties
There comes a time when it is healthier for you and the other person to just cut ties. Again, try to do so with a spirit of grace, but get out of dodge. In ministry, there is way too much at stake for you to be consumed by one difficult person. For the sake of the ministry, separate yourself from that person and move on.

What tips do you have for dealing with difficult people?