Guest Post: 3 Strategies for Impacting Kids
This week we are featuring a guest post from ministry thought-leader Dale Hudson. Dale has over 30 years of ministry experience, is the author of several books, and has been featured in Time Magazine and Christianity Today. In addition, as a sought-after speaker and executive coach, he is passionate about equipping churches to reach kids and families.
In this post, he shares three trends impacting kids today and highlights how to leverage them to help kids find community, build trust with families, and provide opportunities to serve.
Gen Z (ages 9 to 24 at the time of this writing) numbers nearly 68 million in the United States.
Gen Alpha (ages 8 and under at the time of this writing through the year 2025) will be the largest generation in the history of mankind, numbering almost 2 billion worldwide.
According to research done by the McCrindle company, there are 3 big trends that are making an impact with Gen Z and Gen Alpha kids. Let’s take a look at these game-changers.
Community. Kids are looking for authentic relationships. They want to feel close to a community of people.
This can be seen in the way they shop. Six-to-nine-year-olds are 25% more likely than the average person to consider community engagement when making buying decisions.
More than anything else, today’s kids are looking for a community of other children with whom they can have a close relationship. If you want to each today’s kids, then you need to create opportunities for them to build relationships at church.
Having small group time as part of your service is crucial. Get kids out of the rows of chairs and into circles of relationships. 6 to 8 kids per group.
You can have the most amazing children’s ministry facilities west of the Mississippi, but that alone will not bring kids back week after week. You can have the most engaging curriculum ever written for children, but without relationships, they will not stick around.
Relationships! Relationships! Relationships! It’s the super glue that will keep kids connected to your ministry.
If you want to impact today’s kids, then major on small groups.
Parental trust. With all the scandals, abuse, violence, shootings, lack of accountability, and hypocrisy, parents are cautious about trusting businesses, churches, and organizations when it comes to their children.
They will not automatically give you, their trust. It has to be earned and that takes time.
- Do parents feel safe leaving their children with you at church?
- Do you have a security team?
- Do you make sure there are always two approved volunteers in a room before you open it?
- Do you run background checks and have a thorough onboarding process for new volunteers?
We know that parents are the greatest influence in their child’s life. That being said, our role as ministry leaders is to build trust with parents. And that takes time and being intentional. But it is key if you want to impact today’s kids by impacting their parents.
Today’s kids are also generations that have lots of empathy.
If you want to impact today’s kids, then give them opportunities to serve others.
- Give them an opportunity to go on a family mission trip.
- Give them opportunities to give to those in need.
- Share with them the impact their giving is having.
- Show them how to have love and respect for everyone.
- Show them how to speak the truth in love.
- Help them understand that bullying is wrong and has no place in the life of someone who follows Jesus.
- Teach them to stick up for those who are being put down.
Want to make a big impact this year in your children’s ministry?
- Give kids the opportunity to be in community.
- Earn the trust of parents.
- Give kids the opportunity to serve others.
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