Every church has at least one. Usually they like to run in packs. They are often heard before they are seen – their animated laughter carrying faster than their goofy jokes. Personal grooming has yet to become a priority in large part because their mamas can hardly keep the wardrobe up to speed with their voracious appetites and growing bodies.
This group is often feared in Sunday school classes or midweek Bible studies. They don’t seem to show an interest in anything related to books, they have trouble sitting still, and their fascination with fart jokes makes most ladies squirm. What are we to do with this strange group of humans that can seem so difficult to engage and manage?
If you’ve ever worked in Children’s ministry or a classroom setting, you will immediately recognize these individuals as tweenage boys (ages 9-12). They are beyond the cuddly tikes that adored snuggle time, yet not the full grown men ready to conquer the world with a warrior’s heart. These tweens are caught in the middle of those that still collect stickers and the ones who now shave their whiskers.
In spite of the differences to their often gentler and quieter female counterparts, I have come to adore working with these unabashedly boisterous individuals. If you know a few tricks, they can be a true delight to teach and disciple…