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What Children's Ministry Will Look Like in 10 Years

Children's ministry.  What will it look like in 10 years?  Here are my thoughts.

The Bible will become more and more prevalent on screens and less on pages.

The next generation has been dubbed as "Digital Natives."  Born from 2011 onward, they consume the highest amount of screen time ever in the entire history of humanity. 

Kids aged ten and younger, preschoolers included, spend an average of four to six hours in front of a screen each day.

Compared to Gen Xers (41-55 years old), today's toddlers clock in more screen time than the Millennials (25-40 years old) and even more time than Gen Z (15-24 years old).


This will include the Bible.  More and more people will read, study, and mediate on God's Word by use of a screen.  Personally, I like reading from a print copy of God's Word.  But I do find myself reading and praying more often from the Word of God that has been placed on a screen.  We must understand that the Bible is the Word of God whether it is on a page or a screen.  The paper doesn't make the Bible the Word of God.  It is the content...the written or typed words that make the Bible God's Word.

Here's an example.  The Bible App for Kids is a free app for Android, Apple, and Kindle devices, available in over 65 languages, and has already been installed on over 100 million unique devices all over the world. We are going to see more and more kids growing up with God's Word in a digital format. Words written on a screen instead of a page.

Everything will talk with them.  They will think something is wrong when they run into an item that doesn’t respond to their voice.  Kids' Biblical interaction, questions and studies will be guided by technology that talks with them

Lecturing will be out.  Facilitating will be in. The approach that the teacher is the foundation of all knowledge is already considered "old school thinking."

The time of the "Sunday School" teacher standing in front of rows of chairs and lecturing is already on its way out.  Learning will happen with the teacher talking far less and becoming a facilitator who shares practical steps and direction for discussions.

I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.  Albert Einstein

Children's ministries that continue to follow a "lecture" model of learning will have a hard time connecting with the next generation.  10 years from now, children's ministries that are effectively discipling kids will do so through interactive discussions, planned learning activities and hands on learning.

Kids will be getting their own smartphone at younger and younger ages.  Today's children are getting their own smartphone when they are nine or ten.  A quarter of three-to-four-year olds have a smart phone.  Studies reveal that children mostly consume media alone and are not being monitored by their parents.  This will effect how we do ministry and how we integrate smart phone usage into our lessons.  

Kids will become more lonely, bored, and anxious due to social media, online games, and playing virtually.  They will spend more time in their bedrooms playing online games and interacting with others through social media.  They will spend less time watching TV with their family. 

Children will continue to get KGOY (kids getting older younger).   Growing up now is far different than it was 20 years ago. Childhood has changed. Today's kids face things we never faced as kids.  Today's kids are exposed to things that we were never exposed to at their age. This heavily contributes to them growing up more quickly.  

Children's ministries will need to take a hard look at what age-appropriate content is for the next generation lest they get left behind.

Kids will be searching for community.  A few decades ago, kids were expected to make family time a priority.  They would sit around the dinner table with family each night - sharing stories and talking about how their day went.

These family dinners are no longer a priority.  Parents run through the drive through at McDonald's and grab their children a "to go" meal instead of sitting down as a family. 

Children's ministries that thrive will provide opportunities and strategies for kids to be in community through small groups, personal connections with leaders, and intentional ways to help kids get in community.

Kids will continue to be over-scheduled.  Sports.  Clubs.  Music practices.  School demands.  All of these programs and events leave little to any margin to engage in regular play and family time.  Children's ministries that will be thriving will be the ones who do a few things well and emphasize the essentials for being a disciple of Jesus. 

Family structures will continue to be very diverse.   A big factor is this...more children will be born out of wedlock.

A key change in family structure since the 1980s has been the rise of childbearing within cohabitation. Ann Berrington, professor of demography and social statistics at the University of Southampton.

Berrington goes on to say that the proportion of births outside of marriage has doubled from around a quarter in 1988 to just under half today.  Cohabiting families – with and without children – are the fastest-growing type of family.

The designation of "family" will continue to move away from "Leave it to Beaver" and move toward "Modern Family."  

Children's ministries that thrive will be vary aware of this and make adjustments as needed to successfully reach and disciple "families" in the days ahead.


Those are my thoughts on this.  What do you think?  Share your insight and input on the comment section below.

1 Comment

Jun 12

This article could have been written 10-15 years ago.

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