Jan 21, 2021

Growth In Kids and Parents Co-Viewing Media

According to research from nScreen Media, 75% of parents surveyed said they watch video content with their children several times a week or more.

This was happening before Covid-19 and is expected to continue after it passes.  This is true across genders, demographics and income levels.

Once the pandemic ends, 66% of parents say they expect the time they spend watching content with their children will stay the same or even increase.

The most popular device to view media for today's kids and their parents are smart TVs.

The most popular co-viewing content comes from...

YouTube Kids is the most popular with 52% of kids using it.

PBS Kids came in second with 46% of kids using it.  

Kidstream came in 3rd with 22% using it.  

Noggin came in with 21% using it. 

Boomerang, DreamWorks TV and Hoopla all have 15% of kids using it.

Disney+ has emerged as another big winner with 75% of parents saying their family watches it.

Kids are the deciding voice in what families will watch together.  50% of parents say their child mostly chooses what they watch.

We constantly talk about creating strategies and content to help parents disciple their children.  And many churches (especially during the pandemic) are doing this.  They are creating online content for families to watch with their children at home.  This is awesome.  What an opportunity to see kids and their parents grow together in their faith.

There's a big question that must be answered by all churches who are currently providing family content.  The question is this - will you continue to provide online content for families once the pandemic has subsided?  Based on the responses, it seems like a great discipleship tool for families to experience together.  

At the same time, we know kids grow in their faith when they have not only caring, involved parents, but also caring volunteers who invest in them at church.  Combine these two and you can see effective discipleship happen.   

And so the goal would be for parents to watch the provided content with their children at home. Pair this with follow up discussion questions and activities and you've got a solid discipleship tool for parents and their children. 

I will say this - the content needs to be good enough to capture the attention of the kids at home.  Subpar content can still be watched at home, but parents will often have to make their child watch it.  The content we provide will obviously not be on the same level as Disney or Nickelodeon.  But they will watch it, if it at least holds their attention.  

If you are reading this and you are producing digital content for kids and parents to watch together, would love to see what you are providing. You can leave a link in the comment section so we can see what you are doing.  

Kids are a big influence on their parents.  Getting kids and parents watching content together is growing.  Even beyond Covid-19, it will likely continue to be a major tool that we can use to disciple kids and parents together.

Jan 20, 2021

Short on Volunteers? How to Rebuild Your Volunteer Team During Covid-19

The pandemic has been a disruptive force in many aspects of our lives including volunteering. 

Some volunteers have had to step away from volunteering completely, while others have had their roles adapted.

Covid-19 has left many children's and family ministries depleted of volunteers. 

You want your volunteers, kids and parents to be safe and not be put at risk.  

And yet, at the same time, you feel the tension of keeping a ministry afloat that relies upon volunteers.

And in the midst of all of this, in the back of our minds, we are hoping that once the pandemic has subsided, volunteers will flock back.  And the temptation is just to put everything on cruise control and ride this out until things return to normal.

But that may not be the case in many incidents.  You will have to work hard to rebuild your volunteer team.  And the good news is this - you don't have to wait until things get back to "normal." Instead, you can start building/rebuilding your team now by using some of the following principles and tips.

The safety of the people who serve must be a top priority.  This may mean enlisting younger leaders instead of older people who are more prone to being sick and having more complications with the virus.

Remind current and prospective volunteers of the "why."  This is what you should always go back to.  Help people focus on why they are volunteering.  People want to be part of something that is bigger than themselves and your "why" can help them experience that.

Promote your exciting volunteer opportunities.  Share with them the benefits they will gain by serving.  Don't beg. No one wants to be part of a sinking ship.  Instead, promote the amazing things they will get to be a part of by volunteering with you.  A family that loves them and will journey with them.  Lots of fun while serving.  And an opportunity to grow in their faith by serving.

Show appreciation.  Go the second mile to show them you are thankful for their heart for the next generation.  Personally thank them.  Write them thank you notes.  Give them a small gift occasionally.  Spend time with them.  Call volunteers and see how they are doing during the pandemic.  This will show them you are care about them outside of volunteering. When people feel valued and cared for, they will stick around or come back as soon as they feel it is safe.

Keep in close communication.  Inform them of safety measures you are taking to protect the volunteers, children and parents (how you are cleaning things, disinfecting things, masks, etc.).  

Also - changes can happen quickly during this time.  You may have in-person services one week and the next week only have online services.  Be proactive at keeping your volunteers in the know since the changes will affect the flow of your ministry.  I always try to remember this quote...

You can't keep your volunteers in the dark all week and then expect them to shine on Sunday.

Like everything else, this too shall pass.  Eventually things will get back to a normal flow.  How long will that be?  Months?  A few years?  No one knows for sure.  But what we do know is that God is with us and He will supply our volunteer needs as we pray and follow His plans. 

p.s. You can get lots more insight and ideas in my book "The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams."  It's available here or on Amazon.

Jan 19, 2021

The Webinar That Could Be a Game Changer for Your Ministry - Coming Feb.3

February 3rd could be a game changer for your ministry.  

A webinar will take place that will help you know how to see kids' faith grow and flourish for a lifetime.  

We are living in a time when many kids are growing up and walking away from not only the church, but from the faith as well.  

This webinar is going to share how we can change that and see kids become lifelong followers of Jesus.   

Watch this short video for more information. You can get more information and register at this link. 

Jan 18, 2021

20 Powerful Quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  He was the spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968.  

Inspired by his Christian beliefs, he was instrumental in advancing civil rights through nonviolence.

He was a powerful speaker and many of his quotes are remembered through the decades and still make an impact to this day. 

Here are 20 of his most powerful quotes.  Take some time today to read through these and think deeply about what he said. 

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

 The quality, not the longevity, one's life is what is important.

 A life cannot live.

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.

He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.

Only in the dark can  you see the stars.

There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude.

If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.

Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service… You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.

I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.

Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Use me God.  Show me to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself.

Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

By opening our lives to God in Christ, we become new creatures. This experience, which Jesus spoke of as the new birth, is essential if we are to be transformed nonconformists … only through an inner spiritual transformation do we gain the strength to fight vigorously the evils of the world in a humble and loving spirit.