Paw Patrol Introduces "Non-Binary Transgender" Character

I know a lot of preschoolers love Paw Patrol.  My nephew and grandson have both watched the show.  

The show seemed innocent enough for young children to watch with positive, child-friendly characters and programming.

That was until now. Paw Patrol recently introduced a "non-binary, transgender" character.

The character's name is River.  If you look closely, you will see that River wears socks that are colored with the transgender flag. The author, Lindz Amer, said, "I got to write an episode of Rubble & Crew.  I wanted to write a nonbinary character that was inspirational and incredibly cool. Someone for the pups (and kids at home) to look up to."

As we ponder this, we must understand that what the forces behind the show have achieved is not just introduction of a new character.  Rather it is a strategy aimed to capture and shape the minds of the generation to come.

We must help parents see that the agenda behind this is to target children who are at a critical, developmental stage in their life.  They are seeking to "normalize"  the views of gender and sexuality to young children. 

We must be proactive during this time and push back against this agenda.  We must also come alongside parents and equip them as they lead their children.

We must stay informed about the content that is being pushed on our children and grandchildren.  We can't bury our head in the sand and hope the agenda of the evil one will go away soon. You can be sure of this...he is coming full force to capture the hearts and minds of the next generation.

We must also encourage and equip parents to have open dialogue with their children.  Talk about what they are seeing and why it is inappropriate. 

We must remember that we are not helpless bystanders in this. You have the right to turn off the TV, to read different books, to monitor what they are consuming online and guide them to content that aligns with your Biblical values.

The battle for the next generation is in full force.  We must safeguard the minds of the next generation.  We must be diligent to equip parents to be diligent and on guard. Their role has never been so critical. the race to a child's heart the first one there wins. We must get there first.

As we help parents instill a Biblical world-view in their children, we can equip them to live their lives in accordance with God's Word and ensure that their world-view remains uncorrupted.  

Be aware of what is going on around you!

Be alert!  Walk circumspectly in Christ.

Be uncompromising. 

Be protective of your child's innocence.

Digital Native Parents

Millennials.  They are the parents of the Alpha generation. Gen Alpha are children born between 2010 - 2024.  

They are the young parents who have their children in your children's ministry.  They fall in the age range of 18 - 43 years old.

Here are some generational factors that you should keep in mind as you seek to minister to them. 

For today's young parents digital literacy is a core skill that every person needs in order to succeed in this digital age.  They know the good and the bad of living in a digital society. 

A recent survey found that children have more access to digital media than we realize.  They also spend a lot of time looking at content without their parents looking over their shoulder.

Parents were also asked about the devices that their children have access to...

  • smartphones
  • smart speakers
  • handheld game consoles
  • stationary game consoles
  • e-readers

28% of all children ages 4 to 13 have access to all of these devices.  

59% of the families surveyed have a generic smart speaker in the home and 50% have a child-specific smart speaker.

Today's parents want their children to succeed and they clearly understand that technology is a huge factor in this.

They also see technology as a way to spend more time with their children.  Nearly 50% of parents surveyed co-view with their children. Digital parents see technology as an opportunity to watch, play and have fun together.  

Digital time = family time for Millennial parents.

This means you have an open door to connect with parents and families through digital communication and engagement.  

Think about it...

What are some ways you can influence parents and children in the digital world we now live in?

How can you extend the weekend lesson into the homes of Millennial parents?

How can you connect with and communicate with Millennial parents through digital methods?

What do you need to re-access and change to effectively influence today's digital parents? 

Share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.

Throw Wood on the Fire

"His word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones."  -Jeremiah 20:9 
Jeremiah compared God's Word and work in his life to a fire burning deep inside him.  It was a fire that God had placed in his soul. 
As children's ministry leaders, we have the awesome responsibility of fanning the flame that God places in the heart of children.  
God originates the fire.  The fire comes from God's grace and work in the lives of the next generation. Our role as children's ministry leaders is to throw wood on the fire and help the next generation become all that God wants them to be.  
Here are some practical ways we can "throw wood on the fire."
Help the next generation know Jesus instead of just knowing about Jesus.  As we help the next generation understand that following Jesus happens through a personal relationship with Him instead of keeping a set of rules, the wood we throw on the fire will begin to grow and burn brighter in their life. 

Throw a love for God's Word on the fire.  As children read God's Word every day, it will keep the fire burning bright in their soul.

Throw the importance of spending time with Jesus each day in prayer on the fire.  Our first calling as spiritual leaders is to spend time with Jesus. 
Throw wood on the fire by helping the next generation develop a heart to reach the world with the Gospel.  A burning fire in a person's soul cannot be contained.  It will be shared with those you come in contact with. 
Throw compassion on the fire.  Compassion is other people's hurts in your heart.

Throw grace on the fire.  When the next generation understands that God loves them unconditionally, they will want it. 

Throw a passion for worshiping God on the fire.  Remember...passion is caught more than it is taught.

Throw a vision to be used by God on the fire.  The great evangelist, John Wesley said, "I set myself on fire for God and people come to watch me burn."

Throw having the right kind of friends on the fire.  It is crucial that the next generation has friends that will encourage them in their Christian walk.
Throw parental involvement on the fire.  Help parents see how important their role is in their child's spiritual growth.

Throw wood on the fire by being an example of what it means to follow Jesus. 

What an honor and privilege we have to throw wood on what God is doing in the heart and life of the next generation.  

If you will be faithful to throw wood on the fire, you will see fruit now and later down the road. I have many children who have grown up and are now pastors, godly parents, youth pastors, children's pastors and missionaries and more.

Keep throwing wood on the fire and you will see God work in the life of the next generation.

One Time = Full Time

This past week, I taught a breakout session at the Kidz Matter Conference.  

The talk was about how to build a dynamic volunteer team. 

I gave several examples of how I have built several large volunteer teams by using some strategic initiatives.

One of the points was using "1 Time = Full-time."  What do I mean by this?  Let me explain.

If you are like most churches, you have 2-3 big children's ministry events throughout the year.  A fall festival.  Easter.  VBS.  Summer camp.  Christmas.  

Often we will invite people to serve one time at one of these events.  We then give the person a great serving experience.  The primary way you can do this is to place them with your "rock star" volunteers.  In other words, don't place them with Negative Nelly.  

After the event is over, gather all the names of the people that served with you that one time.  A week after the event, go back and contact the people who served this one time.  Invite them to join and serve on your team on a permanent basis.

I found that 85% of the people we contacted would say "Yes, I would be interested in serving with you on a regular basis." 

We saw a lot of fruit come from this strategy.  Some of our best volunteers were reached through this.

Try it.  You will see many people join your team if you pursue this.

This strategy is just one of the game changing strategies that can be found in my book "The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams."   

You can get the book in paperback or ebook format.  Click here if you want to order the book or get more information about it.  It has been called the best book ever written about volunteers and is how I built a volunteer team of over 2,200 in 9 years.