Guest Post: Leading Preteens to Pray pt. 1 by Nick Diliberto

Teaching Preteen to Pray

I’m pumped to be bringing some guest posts from Nick! Nick Diliberto is the creator of, which provides creative curriculum and resources for preteen ministry. He is the preteen columnist for Children’s Ministry Magazine and Children’s/Family Pastor at Seven San Diego Church. He’s such an awesome voice in preteen ministry and I can’t wait for you to read what he’s prepared for this guest post…. check it out:


Preteens are bombarded with activities that compete for their time.  Online games, Wii, homework, baseball, friends and a list of about hundred other things compete for their attention.  MY ten year old has a tough time just sitting in the car without having something to engage with. My iPhone (I let him play games on it sometimes) and his iPad are his two favorites. The average preteen would agree that prayer is important, but most likely doesn’t fit much of it in their daily routine. Especially when so many other things are screaming for their attention attention.

So, how do you lead preteens to pray in today’s fast paced world?  Here are a few things to emphasize:

First, prayer is something you get to do, not have to do.

Preteens often think prayer is a religious activity that isn’t very fun or interesting. Praying is often viewed like a chore: taking out the garbage or doing the dishes. It isn’t fun or exciting, but necessary. Emphasize that prayer can be one of the most exciting activities of their lives! After all, they can experience God do amazing things in and through them when praying. Paint the picture that prayer can be even more exciting than playing online games or hanging out with friends.

Second, prayer deepens your relationship with God.

We all crave a deep personal relationship with God. It’s what we’re searching for deep down. Preteens feel this need as well. They are old enough to recognize and make choices to take step towards God. They, like the rest of us, try to fill it will other things like: popularity, looking good, getting stuff, etc. But these things are empty and never truly fill the need. But when their prayer life is strong, their friendship with God deepens. Preteens are in transition from childhood to adolescence. They’re not kids anymore nor are they teenagers. They’re preteens.  Preteens want to own their faith in Jesus independently of their parents. Helping them to see that prayer deepens their friendship with God is one way to help them own their faith in Jesus.

Next week we’ll take a look at two more things to emphasize when you’re leading preteens to pray. Be sure to come back for more.


The Plateau

pic from Panoramas

When it comes to ministry, this picture is a scary one. It’s a picture of a plateau. A beautiful piece of God’s creation, but not really what you want if you are the leader of any ministry or business entity. Because this image represents lack of growth.

It might only be for a season, but this is something that in no way is something that I look forward to experiencing. In fact it scares me. But it’s also something that you must learn to embrace for a season.

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Monday Morning Recap

Started a New Series this week in Switch.


Series from Simply Youth Ministry. Graphic done in house

Week 1. Understanding the Why of Family

Meat (Teaching):

We Explained the Purpose of Families and specifically the role of kids in the family

Sides (Extras):

Two main illustrations.

Talked about Developmental Delays and the roles parents play in the development of children at even a young age.

Also played a bit of charades with 3 different contestants having the same instructions. A fun way to get some “less than ok with sitting still” kids to get up make us laugh. Then we talked about how just like you don’t get to choose instructions with Charades you don’t get to choose your parents, but it’s all about what you make of it.

You can’t control your parents, but you can control your attitude.

Dessert (Extras):

Played BandAid face. Fun game to play students versus adults. Also had a fun intro video.



Save money as a Youth Pastor

Gotta Do whatcha Gotta Do


So last weekend, my Jeep’s driver side window wouldn’t roll up. It’s been a few weeks of crazy stuff happening in our lives and our cars haven’t helped. We’ve had plenty of car trouble in the past. We know that it’s only a season, but sometimes these problems just seem to pile up. Not to mention, you are a youth pastor. It’s not like you are in this thing for the money. So I thought I would give you some insight into some things that I use pretty regularly to help with some problems with cars and appliances in your home to save you a few bucks.

I used some of these to fix my power window that wouldn’t roll up as well. Saved me about $200-$300 by DIY instead of taking it to a shop.

Check out these resources: [Read more…]