3 Big Things Today's Kids Are Looking For

I often say that today's kids are not the same as when we were kids.  Childhood has changed...drastically.  

But in spite of all the changes, there are 3 things that today's kids are looking for.  These are things that every child longs for.  

Let's see what they are. 

Number one is relationships. 

A relationship with their parents. A relationship with those who lead them. A relationship with a caring volunteer.  A relationship with their grandparents and other family members.  

They want to know that they are loved.  

They want to know that there are people who have their back.  

They want to know that there are people who really do care about them. 

They want to know that they have leaders that can help guide them toward God's plan for their life. 

Today's kids won't come back to church because the church has a playground or a cool building or fun videos.  They are growing up in a world of technology, virtual reality toys, and all the cool things they can cram into their life are available.  

While these things will get them into your church doors, it won't keep them coming back.  What will keep kids and families coming back?


Does this mean we should we pull back from doing fun games, crazy videos, dynamic lessons, awesome crafts, etc. as part of our teaching strategy? 

No.  All of these things are great...as long as they help build and strengthen relationships with the kids. 

No child should be left alone sitting by themselves or stuck in a row of chairs that aren't conducive to helping kids form relationships with other kids. 

Kids will come back to church because Mr. Jim cares about them. Kids will come back because they know Mrs. Smith will ask them how their week went.  Kids will come back because they have established relationships with other kids in the room.  

What they need from us is to give them opportunities to build relationships.  Games can build relationships.  Small group discussions can build relationships.  Praying together in their group can build relationships. Purposeful icebreakers can help build relationships. 

Relationships....relationships...relationships.  That's one of the 3 big things today's kids are looking for. 

Number next is relevance.

Kids are looking for teaching that is relevant to their world.  This is 2024...not 1975.  Yet many ministries are trying to use materials and lessons that were written for kids many years ago.  

The message doesn't change, but the methods of sharing the message must change and adjust to be relevant for today's kids. 

Here's a classic example of this.  Bill Maher, a celebrity atheist, produced a movie entitled "Religulous." The movie theme is basically Bill talking to Christians and making fun of them for their beliefs. But guess what...in the movie, Bill reveals that he did go to church as a child.  He also shares why he quit going.  Watch this to see what he said. 

Notice what he says.  He says the teaching and experience wasn't relevant to his life.  Superman was relevant.  Baseball was relevant to his life.  His church experience growing up was not relevant to his life.

Perhaps if he would have had a teacher or leader that used relevant object lessons from the world of kids, then Bill would have connected with it and his life would have been shaped by relevant Bible teaching. 

Is your teaching relevant for today's kids?  Is your teaching modeled after how Jesus taught?  Think about it.  He constantly used illustrations from the every day life of the people he was teaching. 

Birds of the air. Gates. Sheep. Coins. Fish. Houses. Farmers.  On and on we could go.  

Relevant teaching.  Teach from the world of 2024 kids...not 1975 kids. 


The last thing we will talk about is recognition.  

Today's kids want to be recognized. 

They want to know that they matter.  

They want to know that someone truly cares about them. 

They want to know that someone knows their name.

They want to know that they are missed when they are absent.

They want to hear their name called in prayer. 

They want to be part of a group that knows about them and walks with them through the ups and downs of life.

They want a high-five when they walk in the door.

For a child to grow up and follow Jesus for a lifetime, they will need caring leaders who guide them down the pathway.

By the way, recognition happens one child at a time. One leader at a time who recognizes that child and calls out the greatness that lays buried within him or her.

As I sit here typing this, I am reminded of the leaders who recognized me and called out the potential that was inside me.  Without that recognition, I would never have been here typing and sharing with you. 

God uses willing leaders to recognize the potential He has placed inside of children.

Relationships.  Relevance.  Recognition.  

Help kids find these 3 things they are looking for and only heaven knows the impact it will make in their life.