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The Clubhouses of Today's Kids

When I was a child, my friends in the neighborhood and I decided to build a clubhouse.

Why? Because there was no internet, no non-stop cartoons and no video games systems (although we eventually did get the infamous "Pong" and Atari 2600 systems).

There were no cell phones, no Google, no Fortnite, no Runescape, no computers and no TicTok.

Instead, we played outside for hours and hours. Hence the idea to build a clubhouse.

And so, in the back corner of our yard, the clubhouse was constructed. We used scrap wood to build it. We even made it two story.

We spent hours upon end in that clubhouse. Playing games, talking and warding off imaginary enemies. It became much more than just a clubhouse. It became a place where we could dream big, be entertained, share stories, have sleepovers and let our imaginations take us to far away places.

Fast forward 50 years or so. The average kid today doesn't have an outside clubhouse. But they do have new formats of the clubhouse I just described.

YouTube, video games, social and communication sites are the clubhouses of today's kids. Consider these statistics.

  • TikTok is used by 52% of kids ages 10-to-15.

  • Fortnite is played by 44% of 6-to-12 year olds.

  • Roblox is played by 55% of 6-to-12 year olds.

According to a research firm, 91% of kids between 2 and 17, or about 64 million people are playing video games.

These and other social media and gaming sites, are places where today's kids go to hang out, talk with friends and engage in play.

Clubhouses are a big part of kids' lives as they grow up. With that being said, think about how you can create "clubhouses" that kids like to hang out in and play in at church.

Perhaps it's creating a curriculum series that takes place in a clubhouse.

Perhaps it's bringing in bed sheets and letting your small groups meet in clubhouses they create with the sheets.

Perhaps it's making some teaching videos for preschoolers that happen in a clubhouse.

Perhaps it's theming out your space with a clubhouse theme.

Perhaps it's creating a clubhouse video on your YouTube channel.

All I am saying is this - kids love clubhouses. And if you want to connect with today's kids, you can do so by creating clubhouses for them at church and at home.

As Covid19 is eventually brought under control, kids will be looking for a "clubhouse" to hang out in. Why not make that clubhouse be at church or home or both?

One of my first children's ministry roles was at a small country church. The church only had 2-3 kids that came. And the children's ministry met in the basement. A dreary basement at that.

I had no budget. But I knew I needed to do something if we were going to grow the children's ministry. And so I went out and gathered some branches, wooden planks and any other scrap items that could be used to make a clubhouse. I took those free supplies and turned the children's room into a clubhouse.

When we did that, we started to grow. New kids came. Kids got excited about coming to their clubhouse. We saw kids come to Christ and begin following Him. Creating a clubhouse really did make a big difference in that small country church.

Think about what could happen in your ministry if you focused on creating "clubhouse" environments.

Your Turn.

Why do you think kids are drawn to clubhouses?

How do you create clubhouses for kids at church and home?

What are some ideas for using a clubhouse theme to engage kids?

Share your ideas and insight in the comment section below.


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