Sep 4, 2020

Crucial Connections at Church for Children

2020 is turning out to be quite a year, isn't it?  Who would have ever thought we would be having a conversation about navigating a world-wide pandemic that has shut down many of our ministries?

As I talk with children's ministry leaders across the country, I find a common theme in this narrative.  Churches and ministries are taking steps to make sure they don't lose their connection with their people during this time. 

I have talked with several ministries that are doing things like...

  • Having small groups meet on Zoom.
  • Driving by kids' houses and giving them a shout out. 
  • Having families drive by the church and giving them a kit they can use to have VBS at home.

I do believe it is critical that we stay in contact with the kids and families in our ministry.  Studies are saying that up to 1 in 5 churches may be permanently closing their doors due to this pandemic.  And for those who do reopen, many families may not return to church.

But I believe this - churches and ministries that keep good connections going will see their ministries bounce back and even thrive.  

Millennials and their Gen Z kids highly value relational connections.  Relationships is a huge deal for them.  According to Barna research, they are the most globally connected generation ever.  

Gen Zer's who stick with their faith and stay connected with a ministry say, "The church is a place where I feel I belong.  I am connected with a community of Christians."  

Those who stay connected feel like they are family and are made up of people they want to be around. This is especially true with kids.  Friendships and relationships are everything.  If we want to see them continue in their faith and stay connected to the local church, we must help them get connected to a small group of people who will love and encourage them. 

Millennials and Gen Zer's who continue to follow Jesus, have well-rounded relationships with other people their age.  More than 75% say they have at least one close friend.  

And here is another big finding from the Barna group - data shows that those who continue to follow Jesus have inter-generational friendships.  65% say, "I feel valued by people in my life who are older than me" and "I welcome positive criticism from those who are older than me."

Senior adults - don't miss this - the next generation values you and wants you to speak into their life.  You have a huge opportunity to influence future generations.  Once you've earned their trust,  they will welcome your advice.  

There are 2 crucial connections you can help the next generation make.

1.  Help kids connect with each other through small groups, activities and discussions.  

2.  Help kids get connected to a senior adult in your ministry.  Share the vision with the senior adults about the opportunity they have to leave a legacy by serving in children's ministry.  As they serve, it will have a profound impact on the senior adult and the child.  

You play an integral part in helping kids become lifelong followers of Jesus.  The church has the opportunity to support kids and families in their spiritual journey.  You can help people become stronger in their faith and invite those who have left the Church to come back into a loving and deeply relational community of believers.

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