"The narrative of Jesus at 12 goes on to say that when the days of Passover were finished, as Mary and Joseph were returning home, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. They're leaving... He's lingering. For a twelve year old to be lingering, you know something has to be going on. This wasn't church as usual for 12-year-old Jesus; He was captivated - so much so that for 3 days He was "parentless" and apparently oblivious! As a matter of fact, it was Mary and Joseph who were beside themselves in panic, wondering where He might be. When they finally found Him in the temple, the first recorded words of Jesus in the Bible reveal a tween who was obviously unaware of the gravity of the situation, 'Why did you seek me? Did you not know...?'

In our J12 Local Church ministry, we endeavor to create an atmosphere where kids don't want to leave. In other words, it's not about fancy sets and helium balloons - it's about the presence of God pulling on kids to help them see their purpose and destiny at an early age - before the teenage years!! Now don't get me wrong, I am all for age-specific facilities, where kids can enjoy Disney-like themed spaces. We have them where I serve, but they are a supplement not a substitute for the captivating Spirit of God."

- Excerpt from
J12 Starter Book
Gregg Johnson