Dec 7, 2010

The Death of Nickelodeon Magazine...And What It Means For Children's Ministry


I received a card in the mail again today reminding me that my subscription to Nickelodeon Magazine is no longer valid because they are no longer publishing it. Not surprising...the printed page is moving toward it's demise. Just Google and you'll see a long list of magazines that have bitten the dust in the last few years. 


Newspapers are also on the downhill slide. USA Today lost 13.7 % of it's circulation last quarter. The Washington Post lost 13.1 % and The New York Times lost 8.7%. 

Printed books are declining as well. In 2009, there were about two billion physical books sold in the United States. Sounds like a lot - but that's down nearly five percent from 2008. This year that number is expected to drop another two percent.

Don't worry...we're not heading into the dark ages. There is more information, news, learning materials, and books available than ever before. The difference...it is turning into a digital format. It will take a few years, but just like VCR's were replaced with DVD and Blue-Ray, the printed page will be replaced with the digital page.

Novels are moving from paperback to the Kindle. E-book sales will go from about $150 million last year . . . to an estimated billion-dollar business by 2012, as new products from tech companies like Apple flood the market. People's news is being delivered to their computer instead of being thrown on their doorstep by a paperboy. Hardback textbooks are being replaced with down loadable textbooks. 

So what does this mean for Children's Ministry? Could it mean that...
  • Kids will bring their Bible to church...in digital format. The Bible is just as much God's Word on an Ipod as it is on a piece of paper.
  • Children's Ministries will use a lot less paper and a lot more YouTube to communicate with their parents and volunteers. 
  • Parents can be encouraged to text Bible verses to their children during the week.
  • Interactive, digital, hands on learning will replace lesson handouts.
  • Online worship services for children will be made available like the ones that are currently available for their parents,
  • Online Bible studies where children and parents can learn together will be grow.
  • More printed curriculum will be replaced with down loadable curriculum.
  • Children's Pastors will purchase leadership books that take up hard drive space instead of shelf space.

    What are your thoughts? What changes do you see the shift from the printed page bringing to Children's Ministry?
    Posted by Dale Hudson

    3 comments:

    Seeing these trends already, in our own ministry. We have been moving to putting more & more resources online for parents & leaders, and have been using interactive content online with kids for several years. I'm seeing kids bringing the Bible on Ipod, Kindle, etc., more to our programs.
    Rob Brooks

    I can say I see that trend in magazines. I work as a digital photo artist for a publishing company and we just lost one of our magazines. We still have 7 left, but it hurt to see one go. However the reason the company I work at is slowly shrinking is because, they don't see what you see. They think print is still the big thing, supposedly it took years before they even got websites. I think that's what is going to happen to Children's Ministries that don't recognize that printed words are fading.... those ministries are going to either change or fade with them.

    I agree man! I actually cleaned out my bookshelf in my office the other day and moved in a smaller one to hold the ones I like to give away.

    I converted my library to kindle books. Now I carry my bookshelf with me everywhere I go. Loving it!

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