Recognizing the need for ministry designed specifically for students in fourth through sixth grades, Christ in Youth launched an event series called SuperStart in 2005. Twelve years later, SuperStart remains the only Christian preteen-specific event in the country.
All too often, preteens are lumped in with children’s ministry events that are too childish, basic or boring for them. However, most in this age group are not quite ready for more mature youth programming either.
“They’re starting to own their faith for the first time, but they still need guidance,” says Chris Roberts, communications director for Christ in Youth. “It’s almost like they’re learning how to ride a bike. You want to let them try it, but you also want to walk alongside them as they practice and learn because you know they’re going to stumble a few times until they get the hang of it.”
A crew of actors, worship leaders, teachers and event staff travels around the country to lead SuperStart weekends, which include worship, interactive teaching and small-group discussion tailored to students in this age bracket.
The Christ in Youth team connects with churches, equips children’s ministry staff with promotional materials and reaches out through social media to invite students to attend. More than 16,000 students and adult leaders will experience SuperStart during the 2017-18 tour, which includes 13 stops. The content for this tour centers on the theme “Recipe for Generosity.”
“We’re teaching students God’s definition of generosity and how they can be generous with their time, talents and treasures,” says Roberts. The programming includes a cooking competition and is designed to be interactive, bringing some students onstage to act as judges.
“We’ve been successful in driving this idea on a nationwide level that preteens are their own unique age group and should be taught very intentionally,” says Roberts.