This week, I’m excited to share a guest post from Jason Noble, a team member over at Twelve Thirty Media. With my book, Time to Update, releasing next week, this post about creative ways to use media in your children’s worship experiences was perfect! Learn more about my new book here, and keep reading to learn how to effectively utilize media with kids.
We live in a media-driven world. The children in your kid’s ministry are surrounded by media everywhere they look. The question is how do we effectively use media in our kid’s ministry experiences? Media cannot and should not ever replace leaders, or just be turned on to babysit children. A phrase that literally drives me crazy in the church world is “childcare”. Daycares do “childcare”; churches do “ministry to children.” Effective ministry to children must be relationship-driven, with a focus on discipleship. Media is used to enhance children’s ministry experiences, not replace leaders.
Because our children are surrounded by media and content in every aspect of their lives, less is more! Be very intentional in how you use media and content to shape your kid’s ministry experiences. One of the best formats of media to use in your kid’s ministry is videos. It’s a proven fact that video is the most effective media to deliver content to children today, really people of all ages. I always say that if Jesus was alive today He would probably be in the film and video business. There is something about video that marries all of the senses together and reaches down deep into our hearts, and the hearts of the children we are ministering to.
The most important first step to using video in your church is investing in a good computer, presentation software, and a good sound system. There are great deals available today. I host a children’s ministry leaders video podcast called the KidMin Tribe Podcast. The very 1st episode we did talks about the kind of equipment you need for your kid’s ministry and ways to cut down the costs. I would challenge you to make it a priority to have video capability in your kid’s ministry experiences to be able to take advantage of video in your kid’s ministry.
Here are 5 types of media content that you can use to your advantage in your kid’s ministry:
1. Countdowns – Countdowns are fun and will get your kids ready to start service. Remember, it’s important to set the tone for your kids experience the moment that children walk into your kid’s ministry space. I want kids to know that they can have fun at church and that serving Jesus is a lot of fun. We always had high-energy music and fun, engaging countdowns. Don’t use countdowns that are longer than 5 minutes. Think through using this time strategically. Make every moment count and use each moment to reinforce the lesson. You don’t have to just use a straight-forward countdown on screen. You can share information, play a game, or start stirring interest in the topic or message of the day. Don’t allow any downtime. When the countdown is finished, start your service. Explore our favorite countdowns here.
2. Games – Having fun during your kid’s ministry experiences is important. We want kids to know that serving God and learning about Him is fun! Strategically placing games in your kid’s experience will engage kids, and a little fun competition is always good. It’s good to switch it up between full video games and games you can play “manually”. You can use graphics or video scenes. Make sure you get a high-energy host that engages the kids. You don’t want a single moment where kids are not being engaged. Find your next game to play in your ministry setting here.
3. Mini-Movies – Mini-movies provide a great opportunity to introduce your lesson, or they can be used as openers or hype videos. They can also be used as teaching videos for the lesson with characters that enhance what you are teaching. They don’t have to be overly produced. Kids love simple. They can help give background and move the lesson along. Whether you create your own or use one of these, including a mini-movie in your teaching time will help engage kids with the lesson.
4. Lyric Media – You don’t have to have a band to have great worship. There are many great resource providers that are doing worship videos with lyrics and actions. The videos that are available today can be put into presentation software like Pro-presenter and can seamlessly run. Make sure you have leaders up on stage so that there is a human component, and then run a worship and lyric video like these. If you have a band or musicians that are leading live you can use motion videos to engage your kids. Put your lyrics on the screen to the song you are singing. No more than 4 lines per slide. Be consistent with your fonts and font sizes, and make sure each slide looks uniform. You will also want to train someone who can run your presentation software. (A kid works great for that!)
5. Kids Service Packs – 12:30kids have full series kits with every media piece mentioned above plus graphics too. Everything is branded and cohesive. The series also comes with promotional videos and social media to engage parents. These kits make your life easier by providing the themed content you need for every situation.
Have fun with media, and especially videos, to engage your kids in the best kids ministry experiences that make a life-changing impact. And if you want to learn more about reaching today’s digital natives, get your copy of Time to Update: 7 Areas to Integrate Digital Discipleship into Your Children’s Ministry Strategy.
Author Bio: Jason Noble, Jason is the former children’s ministry lead for the Assemblies of God denomination. He is a pastor, church planter, and the host of The KidMin Tribe Podcast.