Are Preteens Ready for Ministry Leadership?

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Preteen girl is a leader
**This is a guest post from Nick Diliberto from
God always amazes me when he uses preteens in leadership. A friend of mine, Clint May, President of CDM International, told me the story of Sarah, who went through a preteen leadership program at his church. Here’s the story in Clint’s words.
“One year we did a mission trip in San Marcus, Texas. We had a rough trip. Many of our kids came down with a virus. Because of the sickness a lot of our preteens were forced out of their comfort zones. Sarah was in the fifth grade at the time and she was asked to teach one day. I remember her sharing that she was scared to death. She cried out to God to help her teach and she shared later, “I don’t remember a word I said, but God spoke through me in a powerful way.” She had one young lady that day respond to the Gospel and was able to lead her to Christ. A nine year old leading an adult lady to a relationship with Jesus!
When Sarah returned home she realized that she needed to do the same thing in her neighborhood. She invited neighborhood kids to a city park where she lead them in a five-day Bible study. That week four of the children she was working with came into a relationship with Jesus. Sarah didn’t stop there. She felt a calling to teach Sunday school and began asking God for an open door. The next day our Sunday school director called her and asked her to teach. Sarah was amazed how quickly God answered her prayer. She taught for two years with second graders at our church.”
When preteens are given a chance to lead, it is amazing what God will do! Many often overlook what preteens are capable of doing. They have talents and abilities just waiting to be unleashed!
As preteen leaders, it is our job to:

  • Affirm, recognize and encourage gifts we see in students.
  • Give students an opportunity to discover and use their God-given talents.
  • Teach them the characteristics of an exceptional leader.
  • Release preteens to lead at church.
  • Equip them to lead at school, home and in the community.

Do these things, step back and see what God will do with your preteens. Leave a comment below to share your own stories of getting preteens involved in ministry at your church.
Nick Diliberto is the creator of, which provides creative curriculum and resources for preteen ministry. He is also the preteen columnist for Children’s Ministry Magazine and Children’s Pastor at Seven San Diego Church.

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