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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

Update on the Family Pastor Search

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team (noun)

a group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job, or project

Teams are really important, especially if you’re trying to do something significant. The team needs to work together well … and … you need the right people on the team.

For the past few months, we’ve been in a search for a key role on the Eastern Hills team: our next Family Pastor. Vanderbloemen Search Group has been helping us with this search, to find the very best people who could possibly fill this critical role on our team.

Candidate Visits

Over each of the next two weekends (February 24-25 and March 3-4), a candidate for the Family Pastor role will be visiting. We’ve identified these two people as the best of the best to fill the role on our team of leading our efforts to partner with families.

We’re hoping that after these two weekends, we will make an offer to one of those two candidates to join our team. That’s not a guaranteed outcome, of course, but we’re hopeful that will happen.

Please be praying for these candidates as well as our leadership team over the next few weeks. We want God to lead all of us as we continue to build the Eastern Hills team for the purpose of reaching families that are close to us but far from God with the powerful message that Jesus makes life better!

High School Pastor Plan

As soon as the Family Pastor position on the team is filled, we will move quickly into the High School Pastor search process. We think it’s important for the new Family Pastor to be a part of the process of finding the next High School Pastor, as they will work very closely together.

The Interim Solution

Our current staff, both in kids and students, are doing a fantastic job of filling the gaps of both Family Pastor and High School Pastor. Other staff members are stepping up to help as well so that we can continue to move forward and serve our kids and students well, even during this interim time.

If you have any questions about what is currently happening in kids and students or about the search processes for either of these positions, contact Steve Finkill, Executive Pastor of Ministries, by either emailing him or calling the church office during the week.

We’re excited about the team that God has put together at Eastern Hills, which includes all of you! And we’re looking forward with anticipation to when these next two key team members have joined the team and we’re working together to partner with families and point them to Jesus.

Posted by Steve Finkill with