On one of our first Sundays this year, a small group leader approached me after service with a look of 50% frazzle and 50% despair. Her group had given her the “stone-cold” treatment. She felt defeated because the girls just wouldn’t engage in the discussion.
Have you ever felt that way when working with preteens?
We all have moments when we question our sanity for leading a children’s or preteen group. There are moments when they act out, moments when they’re rude, and moments when they just sit and stare. What are we supposed to do in those moments?
The answer: I don’t know. I really don’t know a tried and true solution that will fix those problems. There is always something we can do to be better and get better involvement, so you just have to keep working at it. But in those moments, there is one for sure thing that you should never do: Give Up.
That’s right. Don’t give up. Leading a group of preteens is like putting money into a piggy bank, a relational piggy bank.
Every Sunday, you’re making an investment that may not seem to be worth much. However, over time those investments add up. After years of steady investment, the relational piggy bank is stocked like Fort Knox!
With each investment, you are gaining trust and the privilege to speak Truth into that preteen. Your relational investments show them that they matter. When the time comes for them to need someone to trust and talk with, they will come to you because you’ve invested in them. This is why we encourage our small group leaders to move with their group. We want them to spend several years investing so that they can have the greatest influence.
When that preteen burps in your face this Sunday and it reeks of donuts and Mountain Dew, just remember that you’re making an investment and it will pay off.