J12 challenges local churches to establish culture in their preteen ministry from the beginning. Culture is created through people who practice their beliefs through actions. Culture is what will help a preteen grow to be like Jesus at 12. J12 specializes in preteens and works very hard to make sure the culture they encourage through their materials and curriculum will engage, captivate, and reach this age segment regardless of their social, academic, ethnic, or spiritual background.
The narrative of Jesus at 12 (Luke 2:41-52) begins with “His parents” and ends with “He was subject to them.” J12 culture encourages healthy interaction between each student and the family God has placed them in. If the culture does not begin in the home, then the culture will possibly never develop. Family is crucial. Just as Jesus encouraged that the Kingdom is a family, the home must be a picture of that.
The narrative of Jesus at 12 explains that “every year” Jesus and His family went to Jerusalem. Tradition is a necessity in a preteens life, because of the ever changing variables around them. A student needs traditions established in their world to bring stability, strength, comprehension, and concrete learning. J12 nurtures a culture of repetition with variety and healthy tradition with purpose.
Some of the very first words ever recorded in the Bible by Jesus are “I must.” Until a preteen owns their beliefs, their identity in Christ is not clearly reflected in their behavior. J12 culture challenges them to make the faith their own and declare like Jesus, “I must be about My Father’s business.”
When Jesus’ parents finally found Him three days later, He was in the house - His Father's house; or more specifically “the temple”. J12 culture gives students an outlet to live out their “Father’s business” in the "Father's house" through leadership and serving.