Gen Z is the largest generation on the planet. And they spend the most time throughout the day watching mobile video.
According to research by a company called Whistle, 81% of Gen Z kids surveyed say they interact with the little screens to stay entertained throughout the day.
Gen Z kids follow the lead of their Millennial parents and watch 60% of their screen time in the evenings. But Gen Z watches more video in the morning as well while riding with the parents to school, practices, etc.
4 out of 5 Gen Z kids say watching short videos is a good way to fill gaps in their day. 61% say watching video content on a phone is as good as watching TV. And only 39% of Gen Z kids say they prefer to watch videos on TV. This is compared to 63% of their Millennial parents who say they prefer watching videos on TV.
The study shows that Gen Z has a constant need for entertainment. They are all-day consumers of entertainment, relying most heavily on their smart phones to deliver content. 40% of Gen Zers say a mobile device is their primary viewing platform for entertainment.
Gen Z will spend more time this year using their mobile devices for entertainment than they'll spend watching TV. Emarketer estimates that the average time spend on mobile devices will grow by 3.7% this year. Gen Z will spend an average of 3 hours and 43 minutes a day watching content on their mobile device.
All of that to say this - Gen Z is wired to need constant entertainment. Sitting still with nothing playing on a screen can be torturous for them. From an early age, their brains have been wired to need on demand content. They are a generation born completely immersed in a world that provides content 24/7.
So what does this mean for your children's ministry?
You can even start a YouTube channel for this and invite kids and parents to follow the channel. Vimeo is another place where you can put videos for kids to watch.
Point kids to the great video content you either produce or watch. There is so much content available that can help Gen Z kids know Jesus and grow in their relationship with him.
Use video clips in your teaching. Gen Z hears with their eyes. You can capture their attention with short video clips or visual images. This means as a communicator for kids, we should talk less and show more images and videos.
Provide short time frames where kids detach from the screens and gather before God in a still, quiet manner. You can do this by having a prayer time for a few minutes. Ask the kids to bow before God and spend one minute listening to Him and then a couple of minutes talking with Him.
I once heart a pastor say that our role as children's ministry leaders is to "inner"tain kids. I agree. Kids are wired and ready for this. They are just waiting for you to provide them with something that will hold their attention for more than 10 seconds.
What Gen Z needs more than anything is a growing relationship with Jesus. Jesus can become their constant friend who is always with them. We just have to point them in that direction and pray that the Holy Spirit works in their life and brings them to a saving knowledge of Jesus.
Your turn. What do you think about Gen Z's constant need for content? What ideas, thoughts or strategies do you have for connecting with them? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.