May 12, 2017

Why Kids Love YouTube (and what kid's ministry can learn from it)


Kids love YouTube.  Millions of them watch it daily.  And many create content for YouTube that generates millions of views.  Some of the largest YouTube channels were created by kids.  Something that has captured the attention of kids in such an extraordinary way should be studied by children's ministry leaders.  The question must be asked, "Why do kids love YouTube and what can kid's ministry learn from it?"  Let's look for some answers and takeaways.

Kids love YouTube because it gives them the opportunity to connect with people of like interests.   No matter what the topic, subject, game, cartoon, or interest, kids can type it in the search line and immediately be connected with people around the world who have the same shared interest.  Whether it's Minecraft, Harry Potter, video games, fashion trends for girls or whatever, they can become part of a community that is built around that.

Children's ministry take note: kids long to be part of a community that has a shared interest.  It's all about belonging, fitting in, being accepted and having a shared experience with others.  Are we providing kids the opportunity at church to be part of a shared interest?  Perhaps instead of grouping kids together by grade, we should group them together by interests?  Doing so could help kids feel more connected and in community.

Kids love YouTube because it is engaging entertainment.   YouTube features entertainment that engages kids.  Much of this is done through storytelling.  Storytelling that features characters, adventure, suspense, risk-taking, heroes, villains and more.

Children's ministry take note: kids love stories.  And the Bible contains the most exciting, true stories ever written down.  Stories that deserve to be told with excellence.  And excellence doesn't have to mean big budget.  Many YouTube videos are not generated with a big budget, but from people with little to no budget, taking time to be creative.  You can create content that engages kids.  It simply starts with getting in a room together and brainstorming creative ideas.  You'll be surprised what you can come up with and create if you'll just take time to do it. 

Kids love YouTube because it gives them the opportunity to create content.  YouTube gives kids the opportunity to use their imagination, creativity and artistic abilities.  They can use their gifts and talents to influence and impact other people through what they create.

Children's ministry take note: kids love the opportunity to use their gifts and talents.  Give them opportunities to use their creativity for God's kingdom.  If we want to see kids become lifelong followers of Jesus, we've got to let them move from just being consumers to being contributors.  

Your turn.  The floor is yours.  Are there any other reasons why kids love YouTube?  What other takeaways can we learn from kids' love for YouTube?

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