BE BOLD started as a discussion about the preteen years being a time kids often choose to either “own” or “reject” Christian faith. A recent study by The Fuller Youth Institute revealed that over 70% of churchgoing teens have serious doubts about faith, but, as Christianity Today reports, exploring their doubts was correlated with a stronger faith.
So doubt isn’t toxic. Silence is.
Knowing this, how can the church support preteens? They are starting to reason and think independently—it’s an an age when hard faith questions surface.
So, we pulled together groups of preteens to do our own research. We provided a few broad faith topics and asked what questions they had. We were blown away! Their questions kept coming and coming! For 45 minutes they kept coming—faster than we could write.
Finally, after 45 minutes, one exasperated girl (Addy) asked, “Why can’t we ask these questions at church? Why can’t someone just help me understand?”
We didn’t have a good answer for her…just a lump in our throats.
The experience had a big impact on us. It confirmed our belief that preteens need a safe place to explore hard questions about God and faith. It became our mission to create a preteen curriculum to meet Addy’s cry.
It’s not okay if preteens aren’t able to explore and discuss their tough faith questions at church. If not at church, where else can they go? It’s true that some faith questions don’t have clear and straightforward answers, but we know it is critical to help them explore Scripture to see what the Bible DOES have to say.
One thing is clear, preteens’ QUESTIONS will not go away…but THEY may go away if their questions are ignored.
That is the genesis of BE BOLD. BE BOLD was created for Addy, and millions of other preteens like her!
I looked at the BeBold curriculum. I’m glad to see that you’re offering a special curriculum just for preteens! A couple of suggestions:
1. Offer it in digital format. It gets expensive for large groups of preteens in he class to buy the “hard copy” student packs.
2. Include a video. Maybe an short introduction to each class. Kids LOVE short videos and may be used to them in other curriculums they have been involved in.