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That Awkward Preteen

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preteen (adjective); relating to a child just under the age of thirteen.

Preteens can be awkward at times. I am confident that most kids who fall into the preteen age category would confirm that for you. Even the definition seems a little indirect on how to define them. It can be difficult. Socially, emotionally and mentally, preteens are being exposed to more mature material, but they may be no more ready to deal with it than we were at their age. And, with advancements in social media and technology in general, preteens are being exposed to things I was exposed to in my middle school years.

How can we adjust? How can we best help them during this stage of their lives?

  1. Love them. The moments when you want to be as far away from your preteen as possible (hypothetically) are most likely when they need your love and support the most. Communicate to them that you are there for them at a moment’s notice, and no topic is off limits for them to bring to you for help.
  2. Understand them. Get onto their level and spend time with them. Ask them questions that allow them to express themselves while you learn to relate to them. Spend time doing things they love as they are able to share that part of their lives with you.
  3. Socialize them. According to experts, the number one need in a life of an adolescent is positive interaction with adults and peers. Allow environments for them to create positive relationships with friends that will grow into positive influences for years to come.

Practical Application:

  • Summit Events on Monday nights. These monthly events vary in theme and focus, but are always a safe environment for kids to form new relationships and grow old relationships outside of weekend services.
  • Summer Camps! Bible Sports Camp is June 18-22. VBS is July 16-20. Register your kiddo for these potentially life-changing experiences with friends.
  • Family-Friendly Reach Out Events!
    • Family Night with Illusionists David and Teesha Laflin | Join us on April 27th from 6:30-8:00pm. This will be an all-ages night of unbelievable illusions. David and Teesha rival any large scale magic show you’ve seen before. This is a great opportunity to invite friends and family to be a part of a night they won’t soon forget. Admission is free and we will have childcare up to 2 years old.
    • #foraurora | We are so excited for our first annual #foraurora week. June 3-9 we will have service opportunities every night of the week and we’re hoping for 100% participation from everyone who is a part of Eastern Hills, including families and kids!

The most important thing your preteen needs to know from you is that you love them … even when they might seem a little awkward.

Posted by Johnny Kluever with
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Who are you Inviting?

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During the last few weeks we have been in a series that focuses on how we relate to God and grow in the valleys of our lives. As a part of this series we have introduced a new song called, “Reckless Love.”

Several of the lines of this song echo a passage from Jesus in Luke 15 where Jesus shares His priorities. “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7). Many of us know what it’s like to have God come after us as the one who strayed. A lot of people at Eastern Hills have been found by God after they gave up on Him or church at some point in their past. Often the connection point to coming back to God is through a relationship where someone invited them to try a different kind of church at Eastern Hills.

Easter is one of those special moments where people are expecting to connect with faith, even if it’s just a cultural expectation of church. Our hope is that people who have found it to be so much more than that (people like you!), can help others find the same hope. Even if your friends or family don’t expect to meet God in our time together, we have seen God meet people so often in those moments of invitation.

I want to personally encourage you to remember what it felt like to be the one that God pursued. And, as you remember that, ask God to help you see that person in your life who God wants to pursue through you! Finally, ask for the courage to hope that Easter could grow for you this year—that it would be about the new life you found through the resurrection of Jesus and that it would also be about the new life He offers to other people in your life.

Praying for boldness,

Pastor Phil

Posted by Phil EuBank with
Tags: easter, invite

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