Aug 19, 2019

Gen Z Is Watching

Gen Z is the largest generational group in the U.S.  And they love to watch video content.

They are the generation that is spending the most time throughout the day watching mobile video.

In a survey, 81% of Gen Zers said putting on mobile video helps keep them entertained while they are doing other things.

Gen Zers are like their Millennial parents when it comes to watching video.  60% of their viewing time is in the evening.  But Gen Zers watch more video in the early morning while commuting or during breaks at school or work.

Four out of five Gen Zers say watching a short video is a good way to fill the gaps in their life.  Gen Z is addicted to constant entertainment.   

61% of Gen Zers say watching video content on a phone is as good as watching it on television.  This is compared to only 37% of millennials who saw no difference. 

39% of Gen Zers say they always prefer to watch videos on TV.  This is compared to 63% of millennials. 

40% of Gen Zers say a mobile device is their primary viewing platform for Netflix, compared to only 22% of millennials.  74% say they watch YouTube on their mobile device. 

These stats show that more than any other generation, Gen Z clearly relies heavily on their smartphones for entertainment.  And the entertainment is basically non-stop for them.  From the time they wake up until they go to sleep, they are engaging with their mobile device.

This shift toward the small, small screen being the primary source of video content is continuing to gain momentum.  It is estimated that watching content on a mobile device will grow by 3.7% this year.  

As children's ministry leaders, we must start creating more content that is designed for mobile devices.  How about a short discipleship video series?  How about the plan of salvation shared on an interactive, mobile video platform?  Kids could use this to share the Gospel with their friends.  An example is an app called "Share Your Faith."  It is very interactive and clearly explains the Gospel.  You can get it free in the app store by typing in the words "Share your faith."

There is also a great app for preschoolers and younger elementary kids called "Bible for Kids."  It is available for free in the app store.

Many of you reading this create short videos for your children's ministry.  Encourage kids to watch and share them during the week as well.  All you need is your phone camera and a YouTube channel to put your videos online.  And then promote it to the millennial parents to watch with their Gen Z kids.  

The possibilities are many.

I am praying that God will move upon many of you to effectively communicate with Gen Z and their parents by using mobile platforms.  We have fast approached a day and time when mobile Gospel content must be considered a critical component of every children's ministry. 

Gen Z is watching.  What can you provide them that will engage them at church and throughout the week? 

Do you have a favorite app or video platform that you use to share God's Word with Gen Z?   We'd love see it and help you promote it.  Share with us about it in the comment section below and we can connect. 

Aug 16, 2019

25 More Jokes & Riddles for Kids

One of the easiest ways to connect with kids is by sharing jokes and riddles.
Kids love them.  It can turn a frown into smiles. It can transform grumbles into grins.  It can turn turn complaining into giggling.

Here are 25 joke and riddles for kids.  Grab a few of these and try them out this week.  You'll be amazed at how kids will engage with you.  You can ask them to tell a few they know as well.

What did the left eye say to the right eye?
Between us, something smells!

What did one plate say to the other plate?
Dinner is on me!

Why did the kid cross the playground?
To get to the other slide.

How do you stop an astronaut’s baby from crying?
You rocket!

What kind of tree fits in your hand?
A palm tree!

Why did the cookie go to the hospital?
Because he felt crummy.
What falls in winter but never gets hurt?

Why can’t Elsa have a balloon?
Because she will let it go.

What did the nose say to the finger?
Quit picking on me!

Why did the kid bring a ladder to school?
Because she wanted to go to high school.

Why couldn't the pony sing a lullaby?
She was a little hoarse.

Why didn’t the skeleton go to the dance?
He had no body to dance with.

What stays in the corner yet can travel all over the world?
A stamp.

What kind of award did the dentist receive?
A little plaque.

Why did Johnny throw the clock out of the window?
Because he wanted to see time fly.

What do you call a fish without an eye?
A fsh.

Why do porcupines always win the game?
They have the most points.

Why can’t Cinderella play soccer?
Because she’s always running away from the ball.

Why did the golfer wear two pairs of pants?
In case he got a hole in one.

What race is never run?
A swimming race.

How does a train eat?
It goes chew chew.

What did the judge say when the skunk walked into the courtroom?
Odor in the court.

Where do polar bears keep their money?
A snow bank.

What has four wheels and flies?
A garbage truck

What do you call cheese that is not yours?
Nacho cheese

Why is a baseball stadium always cool?
It is full of fans

What goes tick-tock and woof-woof?
A watchdog

Why was the broom late 
It overswept

What are some more jokes or riddles you like to tell kids?  Share them with us in the comment so we can use them as well.  Have a fun, impactful weekend.

Aug 15, 2019

Podcasts for Kids

Podcasts are a great communication tool to share ideas, insights and teachings. 

Podcasts for kids are growing in popularity and there are now many podcasts that are geared for children. 

Here are the top 25 podcasts currently available for kids. You can pick up some great ideas by checking these out.  The creators have found ways to engage kids with a  mixture of monologue and dialogue.

I have included the links for these podcasts as well.  This is not an endorsement of these podcasts, but simply a way to get a taste for what kids are listening to.

But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids

Smash, Boom, Best

The Two Princes

This American Life

Ear Snacks


The Past & the Curious

Book Club for Kids

Story Time

Be Calm on Ahway Island

What If World

Stories Podcast

The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian

Flyest Fables 

Eleanor Amplified

The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel

Welcome to Night Vale

Wow in the World

Brains On


Stuff You Should Know

Noodle Loaf

Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl

Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child

All Songs Considered

These popular podcasts will give you insight into what today's kids enjoy listening to.  While there are many podcasts about children's ministry leadership, I am not aware of very many that are aimed for kids and families.  If you have a podcast that targets kids and families, would love to hear about it. You can leave info. in the comment section below.

Aug 14, 2019

How's Your GX?

If you want your ministry to grow in today's culture, then your GX (Guest eXperience) must be exceptional.
And keep this in mind.  People are not just comparing your GX with the church down the street. They are comparing your GX to their GX at the restaurant where they ate yesterday, to the store where they shopped last week and to the phone conversation they recently had with their bank.

How can you improve your GX?  Here are some proven ideas that can help.

Rather than pointing to a destination or giving directions, walk people there.   Never point.  Always walk with them.

Keep your lines short.  People hate to wait in line.  One of my pet peeves about the GX at Wal-Mart is they often have long check-out lines.  What makes it even more frustrating are the 2,000 check out stations that are not even being used.  I'm not sure if they build all of the check-out lines with Black Friday in mind?  My suggestion is to not build as many check out lines and instead use the money to buy some new shopping carts that don't go "clank, clank clank" when you push them.

Make sure you have enough check-in stations so that people don't have to wait to check-in.  And have a separate area for guests to check-in.

Say hello and good by.  Have greeters to welcome people as they arrive.  But don't stop there.  If you want to have exceptional GX, greet people as they are leaving as well.  A few months ago, I was visiting one of the fastest growing churches in the country.  I was impressed by the friendly greeters they had as I walked into the service.  But I was even more impressed by the greeters that were in place after the service to thank me for coming as I exited.

Provide great parking for the people you are trying to reach.   Another fast growing church I have visited has prime parking reserved for people who are handicapped.  But they also have reserved parking for guests and for parents who have babies or preschoolers.

Stats show that people decide if they are going to return to your church in the first 8 minutes they are on your property.  You don't want a guest family to spend 5 of those minutes trying to find a parking spot.  

Have your GX exceed their expectations. One way I have done this, is by giving them a personal gift. Here's an example.  I was walking a new family to their room.  On the way, I asked their son what his favorite candy was.  He said "MMs."  I also asked him what his favorite sport was.  He said, "basketball."  After we had helped their son get checked into the classroom and walked the parents to the auditorium, we had an idea.

I jumped in my car and drove to Target.  I bought 2 big bags of MM's and a basketball.  We put them a gift bag and waited for the service to end.  When the boy's parents picked him up, we were waiting in the hallway with the gift bag.  We presented the bag to the family and wow!  You should have seen their expression.  They were blown away.  You can't do that for everyone.  But you can do for the few, what you'd like to do for everyone.

Great GX is found on the second mile.  It happens when you far exceed people's expectations.

Remember that people will primarily remember how you made them feel.  A great GX happens when everyone is cued in to this.

No one person owns the guest.  But everyone does own the moment they are with the guest.  The guest will add up all of the moments and will decide what their experience was based on all of the interactions they had.

We would often get feedback from our guests to find areas we could improve in.  One weekend a guest said we had good GX with our greeters.  They also said we explained the safety and security very well.

The only negative thing they mentioned was this - the person at the classroom that checked them in, never smiled one time.  This caused the guests to feel like they were bothering her or stressing her out.

This was a prime example of one interaction causing a negative effect on our GX.  Needless to say, our next training focused on our attitudes, actions and the vibe we project....and smiling more.

I was sitting with the pastor of one of the largest churches in the country.  One of the questions I asked him was how his church did follow-up.  I was surprised when he said they don't spend a lot of time or resources on follow-up.  Rather, he said they spend the majority of their time in creating irresistible environments.  If you meet people's needs and give them a great first GX, they will be back.

The opposite is true when a guest doesn't have a good GX on their first visit.  It doesn't matter how many times you follow-up, they are more than likely not going to return, no matter how many times you call them, email them or send them a letter.

So how is your GX?  It will improve if you are willing to ask the hard questions, examine everything you are doing and make changes if needed.

A great way to get a examine your GX is to invite someone from the outside to come in and do an evaluation.  Someone from the outside can see the blind spots you are missing.  They can also work with you to create a strategic plan to make your GX better than it currently is and to remove barriers that are standing in the way.

If you are interested in help for your GX, then I'm here to help.  I have over 30 years of experience in leading in churches of all sizes. From churches of 200 to churches of 30,000, I have helped churches across the country and overseas to improve their GX.

If I can be of service to you and your ministry, you can get more information at this link. 

And blessings to everyone who serves in GX.  You matter and what you do matters a lot.  The sermon starts with you.  What an opportunity you have to impact kids and families.