The Millennials (adults ages 18 to 35) are having children. There are 22 million Millennial parents in the U.S. and they are giving birth to about 9,000 babies each day. Research shows there are nearly 21 million children ages 4 and under in the U.S. World-wide there are 2.5 million babies born to Millennial parents each week.
The children of Millennials are known as Gen Z. They are the kids in your ministry and the kids you are trying to reach in your community. Like every generation, they have unique characteristics that you need to understand. Here are a few of the key findings about the children of the Millennials.
They influence the spending of their Millennial parents. It has been reported that children under 12 and teens influence parental purchases totaling between $130 to 670 billion a year.
They don't have as many brothers and sisters. Today, 18% of mothers at the end of their childbearing years have an only child, up from 10% in 1976.
They can lean toward selfishness and instant gratification. This is in part due to many being the only child and the "instant download, instant streaming" world they are growing up in.
They prefer communicating with images and voice control over typing and texting. An example is the popular children's app, Snapkidz, which is like Snapchat minus the ability to add friends or share messages.
They captivate the attention of their parents. In the lives of their stressed out, busy, multi-tasking parents, they are the one constant that their parents focus on. Millennial parents and their children are more relationally connected than any previous generation.
They are the most technologically literate generation ever. Here are some examples. Four days before Christmas, Amazon reported that the "most wished for" tablet accessory was the Buddibox Ipad case. It is a kid-safe product marketed to Gen Z.
Over 1 million families subscribe to the educational platform called ABCmouse, which is exclusively targeted to Gen Z kids. 81% of Gen Z kids watch videos or play games on electronic devices on a daily basis.
They are social influencers. YouTube baking experts, Charli (age 7) and Ashlee (age 10) have an average of 29 million views and generate an average of over $127,000 in ad revenue each month. Their audience is primarily comprised of children.
Bottom line for the church:
- We have an opportunity like never before, to reach children with the Gospel. There are more kids than ever who need to hear the Gospel. Yes, children's hearts are like wet cement. But wet cement soon turns to concrete. We must write God's love on the hearts of children while they are open and receptive to the Gospel. If they reach adulthood without accepting Jesus, the likelihood of them coming to Christ drops significantly.
- If we are going to reach parents and families, it will be done through their children. The key to reaching a parent with the Gospel is first reaching their child with the Gospel. When you take a child by the hand, you take a parent by the heart. Like never before, parents are tuned into what their children are interested in. Interest a child with the Gospel and the interest of their parents comes with it.
- We must invest heavily in children's ministry. Churches and ministries that reach families will be those who make children's ministry a high priority. Churches that invest in children's ministry will grow and reap the benefits many times over.
- We must communicate with today's kids in their language. Images. Apps. Technology. Online.