I’m often asked about what trends I see in Kids Ministry. After all, I visit a lot of churches and talk with a lot of KidMin leaders. The truth is for every church I visit who is doing KidMin one way, the next church I talk with is doing the same thing, differently. There are no trends that I would encourage anyone to join. Each church is called to be unique in the community that God has placed them. Don’t do something because someone else is having success. Do whatever you do because God has led you and you ministry to do it. Follow His leadership – not the trends.
However, I do see some things that I believe are influencing Kids Ministry today. I believe these seven influences that have been identified will help you understand, prepare, and create systems in your church that will help your ministry to be viable and ready for the future. It’s not my intention to defend these influencers, just acknowledge them:
1. Technology: Like it or not, it’s here to stay (and it’s gonna be different next year than it is this year). Many of our “baby boomer” leaders have grown to tolerate technology. They use it but would be fine if it went away! A growing group of younger boomers and Gen Xers have learned to enjoy technology. It’s fun, it saves time, and it’s a useful tool. However, millennials (those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s) and the kids that we are teaching in our churches EMPLOY technology. They use it to “do life” and don’t know anything different! So, in Kids Ministry we have a choice. We can ignore it, refuse to use it, or we can figure it out. My recommendation (and a future post) is to figure it out!
2. Social Media: Social Media and Technology could have easily been lumped into the same category, but I think that would be a mistake. Technology and teaching methods are one thing, but socializing through that technology is really a completely different phenomenon. Email started it, and chatting, texting, and Instagraming have sealed the deal. The parents of our kids (and many of the kids themselves) prefer this form of communication over traditional methods. They still appreciate a note, a birthday card, and other forms of traditional socialization, but on a day-to-day basis, they use the social media outlets. This has become a real issue for some of my more traditional friends but I encourage you to consider the benefits and see if touching lives, by whatever means available, is still the real goal.