Working With Tweenagers (9-13's)


Working With Tweenagers (9-13's)

I'm a Nation Children's Worker and lead many Training Sessions on Creative Communications. People always ask about working with 'Tweenagers' Do you run a successful group? Do you have ideas on how to reach this precious age group. Please share!

Members: 41
Latest Activity: Jul 14, 2014

Discussion Forum

Discipleship Courses 2 Replies

Started by Becky Allison. Last reply by Brenda Lord Aug 8, 2013.

Moving tweenagers up to the teenagers groups 2 Replies

Started by Becky Allison. Last reply by Brenda Lord Aug 8, 2013.

Praise and Worship 4 Replies

Started by Bernice Cousins. Last reply by Becky Allison Mar 13, 2013.

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Comment by Mike Dalby on October 9, 2013 at 15:00

In attempt to produce do-able Christmas drama for this central cohort, which adults would love to see performed, I wrote a Christmas play for Y6-8 youngsters. It's called "Horrid Herod's Christmas Turkey". It contrasts Herod's warped perspective of kingship with the truth about the Newborn King in the context of the visit of the Magi. It is a comedy and contains echoes of Blackadder and Fawlty Towers, as I love to introduce young actors to the style and ways of irony and sarcasm, as well as the more obvious slapstick. The youngsters I've trained to perform it so far have done an outstanding job. The play lasts about 30 minutes and ends unexpectedly on a highly emotional note. It fits really well into a Christmas outreach context. Let me know if you'd like a look at the script and I'll send it to you. I'm at . If you like the look of it, we can chat further about it.

Comment by Janet Wilson on August 9, 2013 at 11:34

Sounds like you have a great group, Mike!

Comment by Brenda Lord on August 9, 2013 at 8:36

They look great Mike. I hope other people take a look.  will mail you.

Comment by Brenda Lord on August 8, 2013 at 10:21

That sounds really good Mike. I'd be interested.  If you've had good feedback on it you could publish it as an e-book on Amazon maybe.

Comment by Mike Dalby on August 7, 2013 at 17:55

I began an outreach group for school years 6-8 (age 10 ish to 13 ish) about 17 years ago when it seemed to me that those youngsters were growing too old too soon. Praise God it has become very successful as the youngsters in that central cohort have discovered a safe and exciting place where there is tight discipline, immense fun, respect for all and the permanent freedom to ask questions about God, His love, His word and His ways. I've found that it's become not just a "retention mechanism" between children and youth, but a movement with an identity and feel all its own. I've had the honour of training many young preachers in that cohort and some have travelled and served God overseas. Having read the Bible through many times, I thought I'd attempt to put it into a format with language and style suitable for them. I ended up producing HISTORY - HIS STORY, a 38 episode adventure through the entire Bible!! It took me two years, but it's finished now! The lads in my group love it. If anyone would like to sample it, contact me on and I can send you a couple of pdfs and explain more about it. 

Comment by Brenda Lord on April 17, 2012 at 16:23

John Hardwick is probably too busy to tell you that his holiday club resource book ‘Sports Academy’ might be just what you are looking for if you want to do an Olympic Games theme with your kids this year.  It can be found on the More Than Gold Resources web site alongside lots of other great youth material including some from lesser known people!  ‘Fit 4 Gold’ has been written more for the top end of the tweenage age group.  A sample can be found on the web site.


Comment by Moira Kleissner on January 19, 2010 at 15:41
Hello John, still using "Bible Bop" and singing your praises to everyone.
..and my knees ache still when I bop!
I don't run a tweenagers group now but did in London for several years. At out church meeting an 11 year old said it wasn't fair that they had no Bible Study/Discussion group (there was a children's midweek Christian group and a non-directional relationship building youth club - I wasn't involved with the later on a regualr basis) when the adults had one. So.......................
I gave them power: we had a look at an unused room in the church to see what we could do. The 2 girls and one boy met at my house with pizza and coke, they designed and talked about how we could chage it. Then we took them to B&Q and they "helped" paint it - well sort of but we had fun. We had bright red walls with huge geometric shapes in purple, bubble gum pink and blue (my eyes still cringe but they loved it). We were donated big bean bags and we commendeered an unused karioke machine and sat down to talk about what kind of things they wanted to do. No good doing a programme that is totally adult initiated our kids aren't stupid. Ask them what they want to find out about. They wanted Bible study and had ideas of what they wanted to do. I looked at "Youth Alpha" - too regimented with not enough open ended questions. "Rock Solid" cost a fortune and they refused to reduce the cost for our small church (so much for Christian love!!) I ended up, with my colleagues in CURBs writing "Zero to Hero" for this age group. Since then there have been other packs added - go to CURBS website to find out more. When we finished doing that, I looked around but nothing seemed to connect with then. Then I found "Youth Emmaus" by the CofE. It was brilliant. They loved it and we ended up with 12 kids, including 2 Moslem boys whose parents were very keen that they came. Because they had designed the room dare anyone touch or damage it........................!!!!!!!! The only stricture was I was picky about music we played. I had the usual assortment of Christian rock CDs but we used commerical ones too, however I wouldn't allow overt sex talk or swearing and violence, like Emmanm. They accepted it. Then we moved Ipswich!!!
I'm no expert but that worked. We gave the kids power to decide certain things and we gave them room to question and explore issues and didn't always give closed answers. Our aim was to build relationships with them and then allow them, in their own way, to build their own relationship with God
Good luck those of you out there doing tweenagers work. Before you start get the book about Tweenagers that Christian Research published a few years back. It's very useful background. For materials look for stuff that allows them to talk, ask questions and wonder. They aren't primary kids but son't have the savvy of teenagers they are tweenagers.
Comment by emily davis on March 30, 2009 at 12:48
Have a look at the Yfaith website: and in particular the downloads page:

The website is an initiative of the Catholic Agency to Support Evangelisation, and is geared towards 10-13 year old churched kids. The downloads weekly gospel commentary; a monthly discussion starter by Martin Saunders (editor of youthwork magazine), that has been tweaked for our slightly younger target audience; a Bible Detectives Quiz and so on.

Do spread the word as these are free, quality resources!
Comment by Janet Wilson on March 27, 2009 at 12:54
Hey John, I realise you're really after ideas for groups, but I hope you might find this interesting . . . I began Dernier Publishing to publish fiction for this age group; this is my burning vision! I tentatively started off with a bit of finance and two books of my own (my background is in freeelance writing) and have now commissioned more books from other authors which will be released later this year (DV 2 ready for summer reading, 2 in Sep/Oct).

The need for excellent books for young people with a Christian world view cannot be underestimated. There are plenty of books around (and film spin-offs) with an atheistic viewpoint and many stories which have incited interest in the occult and witchcraft, violence, materialism and worldly relationships, but what about books where the Lord is God, where faith in the Lord Jesus Christ matters, where people pray and read the bible? These don't have to be dry subjects! - they can be as alive, real, funny, scary and sad as any secular story, but with the enormous extra bonus of a spiritual perspective.
The aim of our books is to encourage, thrill and inspire young people in their walk with God - and to show non-church kids what they are missing! We also have posters and . . .well, take a look at our website -, see what you think! You can sign up for montly newsletter with offers sometimes too. We would appreciate your support!

btw I helped with a group of kids this age for years - mostly non-church, it was a headache but such fun! We had a thought for the day at the end of the session (they were mostly non-church) and at times you thought nothing was going in but one day I said, right you can do the talk this time and sat down. Well, they got up and yelled the gospel at me like I'd never heard it b4!!!! I couldn't believe it. Be encouraged - more goes in than you think!
Comment by John Hardwick on September 8, 2008 at 9:39
The tweenage years are roughly between 9 and 14 years of age, a time of enormous physical and emotional/psychological growth and change. This time of transition has the potential to trigger confusion and stress, as the young person begins to move from childhood towards the challenges and responsibilities of adulthood. The tweenager is moving from concrete reasoning to developing the ability to think about abstract concepts. They are beginning to fit their knowledge into the framework of their emerging worldview, and reconciling apparently conflicting information (e.g. the love of God c.f. God punishes the sinner).

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