Post by Christy Williams
Pre-teens are a funny little group of people. They can tell you a ten-minute story about something that happened to an avatar in a video game using mostly sound effects. Preteens want to be seen, hold the microphone, and be a participant not a spectator. They like sour patch candies, inflatable t-rex costumes, and ridiculous dance moves. Most are in a stage of spiritual development in which they draw from imagery popular in one’s peer group in order to make sense of abstract concepts.
The past few years we have attended Superstart, a two-day event put on by Christ in Youth, which does an extraordinary job of reaching out to preteens in this stage. This year’s Superstart helped the kids understand God’s promises. They learned that there are approximately 3,000 promises of God in the Bible, and through this weekend, they heard several of these promises, and how to apply and share them. But they did all of this within a captivating video-game theme, paired with a Pokémon-like card and dice game, which they could actually play themselves. It was brilliantly done, and the kids were fully engaged. This was evidenced by the great discussions we had during the small group times, using the question prompts provided on the Superstart ap. And, I was pleased to hear later that the worship through music was the group’s favorite. What a blessing to see hundreds of kids together raising their praises to Jesus with one voice! The Superstart team used current popular worship songs that we adults would hear on the radio or sing in church. I felt it showed great respect for the validity of the faith of these young people.
Along with these sessions, our little group also had opportunity to enjoy each other’s company during the long lunch break called “Plug and Play”. This year we chose to hang out at Peter Piper Pizza and get the last of our wiggles out with a BINGO-style scavenger hunt at Pioneer Park.
All four of the kids who attended this year were able to do so thanks to the scholarship money raised during our end of summer envelope fundraiser. A big thank you to all who so generously gave!