In 2007, when the board of Destiny Christian Church approved the creation of Elevate (a Preteen Ministry independent of CM and YM), and approved Sean Sweet to be the full time pastor of Elevate, Sean was ecstatic.
Shortly after, Sean went on a quest to find a conference that he could attend – a conference specifically for preteen ministry leaders. Google turned up NOTHING. And while there were many good children’s conferences, they only had very limited content for preteen ministry leaders. Sean shared this frustration with the Junior High pastor at Destiny, who said, “Well, why don’t you just start your own conference then?”
A few months later, close to 100 preteen ministry leaders came from around the USA and Canada to Destiny Church in Rocklin, CA for the first Preteen Leaders’ Conference.
Among those present were Jim Kast-Keat, Patrick Snow, Nick Diliberto, Nate Cummings, and Rob Tuma. The conference was a success, and immediately after, Patrick Snow (of CIY’s SuperStart!) came forward with an idea – to put together a small team of people from around the country who had the purpose of being a voice for preteen ministry.
So Jim, Nick, Rob, Sean, Nate, Patrick, and a couple of others, including Heather Dunn, got together in the hills of Colorado for a retreat under Patrick’s amazing leadership.
We met in Heather Dunn’s cabin, and spent several days getting to know each other, having miniature boat races, finding shark tooth-shaped items, and discussing the validity of preteen ministry.
What came out of this first retreat was “The Bike“. This concept has guided everything we’ve done since. People from all over the world have shared this article with parents, with volunteers, and with their senior pastors. It gives a framework for understanding the need for preteen ministry.
Our new group needed a name, and after WAY TOO MUCH discussion and dozens of rejected names, the group decided on FourFiveSix.
Every leader on the team, including Patrick, was a volunteer. In the years that followed, the conference (which the FourFiveSix team took on as a team project) and the website continued, sometimes just barely, because of that. Everybody on FourFiveSix had a passion to see this thing take off, but nobody had the time (because everybody had successful full-time ministry).
Over the years, people left the core team and new people (like Chip Henderson, Katie Gerber, Mike Sheley, and Mike Branton) joined the FourFiveSix team. But no matter who was on the team, the same problem existed.
And then, in 2015, during the Destiny Church fast, Sean sensed a stirring: to share his leadership of the preteen ministry at Destiny Church with Chris Santos, and to devote part of each week toward FourFiveSix.org. The board of Destiny and the FourFiveSix leadership team approved the idea, and now FourFiveSix is a ministry of Destiny Christian Church. And now, instead of being the effort of a team of overly busy volunteers, the weight of FourFiveSix is carried as a paid position by Sean, and is supported by that same group of dedicated, motivated preteen ministry leaders from around the country.
FourFiveSix exists to raise the value of your ministry to preteens. FourFiveSix values connecting preteen ministry leaders year-round, providing useful content year-round, and sparking creativity year-round. FourFiveSix provides 4, 5, or 6 podcasts a week, blog content, webinars, conferences, retreats, The Map to connect people in local gatherings, Space Tours of people’s ministry space, and (coming in 2016) a new kind of curriculum aimed specifically at preteens.
So…want to join the movement? There are so many ways to get involved…here are seven:
- Join us for an upcoming webinar, training, or conference.
- Get your ministry on The Map.
- Take a Space Tour.
- Join us on Twitter or Facebook.
- Sign up for The Weekly Newsletter.
- Comment on a blog.
- Send us a “Great Idea” for a podcast episode.
Without you, the FourFiveSix community is missing something! Come join the movement today