Moving From Classroom Management to Mentorship

Enhancing Preteen Ministry

In our preteen ministry, many adult volunteers initially approach their roles with a mindset focused on “classroom management” typically associated with children’s ministries. Their primary concerns often revolve around smoothly guiding students through the Sunday school schedule, ensuring they attend lessons, snack time, and bathroom breaks.


However, as our preteen participants wrestle with diverse spiritual challenges and questions, it becomes increasingly apparent that a shift toward mentorship is beneficial and essential.


Historically, preteen ministry has centered on structured lessons, engaging activities, and maintaining order in the classroom. While these aspects remain integral, they only scratch the surface of what preteens genuinely need for their spiritual development journey.



Why Transitioning from Classroom Management to Mentorship is Essential for Preteen Ministry


1. Relational Depth:

Preteens yearn for deeper connections and genuine relationships. Adopting a mentorship model allows leaders to invest more time and effort into cultivating meaningful connections with each preteen. These relationships are the cornerstone for effective discipleship, providing a nurturing environment where preteens feel comfortable asking questions, seeking guidance, and sharing their struggles.


2. Personalized Guidance:

Every preteen is unique, with their strengths, weaknesses, and interests. Traditional classroom management techniques may need to be revised to address the individual needs of each student. Through mentorship, leaders can offer personalized guidance and support tailored to the specific circumstances of each preteen. This customized approach empowers preteens to grow spiritually, emotionally, and socially in a manner that resonates with their distinct personalities and experiences.


3. Lifelong Impact:

The influence of a mentor extends far beyond the boundaries of a classroom. Mentors impart knowledge and walk alongside preteens, providing unwavering support, encouragement, and wisdom as they navigate life’s challenges. The lessons learned and bonds formed during this critical developmental stage can leave an indelible mark on the lives of preteens, shaping their beliefs, values, and character for years to come.



Facilitating the Transition from Classroom Management to Mentorship in Preteen Ministry

Transitioning from classroom management to mentorship is a deliberate effort that requires commitment and intentionality from preteen ministry leaders. It entails a shift in focus from merely controlling behavior to building meaningful relationships, from disseminating information to fostering personal growth, and from managing classrooms to nurturing hearts.


Here are some practical steps to facilitate this transition effectively:

  • Training in Mentorship Techniques: Provide comprehensive training sessions for leaders to equip them with effective mentorship techniques and relational skills. This training will equip leaders to build deeper, trusting relationships with preteens.
  • One-on-One Mentoring Sessions: Create opportunities for one-on-one mentoring sessions between leaders and preteens. These intimate settings allow for personalized guidance and support, enabling preteens to explore their faith journey in a safe and nurturing environment.
  • Small Group Discussions: Encourage small group discussions that promote vulnerability, authenticity, and mutual support among preteens. These discussions provide avenues for deeper exploration of spiritual topics and foster a sense of community within the ministry.
  • Supply Resources for Spiritual Exploration: Resources and materials that facilitate deeper spiritual exploration and personal reflection. Resources could include age-appropriate study guides, devotional materials, and interactive tools to engage preteens in meaningful conversations about their faith.
  • Cultivating a Culture of Mentorship: Cultivate a culture of mentorship within the broader church community, where preteens can also find support and guidance from older mentors and peers. Encourage intergenerational relationships and create opportunities for mentorship beyond the confines of the preteen ministry.

Embracing mentorship fosters an environment where preteens feel seen, heard, and valued. Our focus extends beyond classroom management to nurturing meaningful connections and empowering preteens to explore and grow in their spirituality.


Join us as we embark on this transformative journey, moving from traditional classroom structures to impactful mentorship and profoundly enriching preteens’ lives to help them see their unique needs and potential, empowering them to become thriving disciples of Christ.

Deep Discipleship Preteens

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Deep Discipleship Preteens is a complete curriculum and system with everything you need for ministry to 4th–6th grade students.

  • Biblical truth that goes beyond stories.
  • Lessons that help adult volunteers move from classroom management to relational mentors.
  • Tools that equip parents to guide their children into adolescents.
  • Biblical truth that goes beyond stories.
  • Lessons that help adult volunteers move from classroom management to relational mentors.
  • Tools that equip parents to guide their children into adolescents.

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