Technology often gets a bad rap, but it’s not going anywhere, and if we don’t work to leverage technology for our advancement of the gospel, we will grossly miss our targets. Today’s kids don’t know a world without the existence of technology and the internet, and the Barna Group has found that children spend an average of five hours on an electronic device (tablet, phone, computer, etc.) every day.
As ministry leaders, we have to use technology in our ministries to engage kids in what we are teaching and how it can apply to their lives.
If you aren’t using technology in your ministry in some way, you’ll lose kids (and their parents) because they’ll subconsciously view the church as outdated and irrelevant.
Kids interact with technology on a daily basis anyway, so why not redirect some of that screen time to be part of the discipleship process? Here are some simple ways to incorporate technology into your ministry…
Screen or Video-led Games – There are thousands of video or PowerPoint-led games you can use during large-group time or parent pick-up. Check out WorshipHouseKids or YouTube for some great ideas. During one of our space-themed units, I used a “space race” video that encouraged kids to choose a colored rocket ship and cheer for that one during a 30-second on-screen race. Each time, a different color would win. This game quickly became a favorite pick-up time activity, and it matched our unit theme, helping kids remember the overall idea. Now available: a Bible Story Trivia Video for Kids!
Bible Story Videos – Most of the popular curriculums provide videos with their lessons, so use these videos as a supplement to your in-person teaching. I’m a firm believer that the Bible story should be taught by a person first, then reinforced with technology. That way, kids hear the story at least twice and in two different formats. If your curriculum does not provide videos, look around online or make your own. The possibilities are endless.
Worship – If you’re one of the lucky children’s pastors who has a full band to lead worship, just skip ahead to the next idea. If you’re like the rest of us, you can use exciting lyric videos during worship to engage kids with technology. Again, WorshipHouseKids is a great place to start your search. Using lyric videos also allows you to share the videos with your families so they can listen and worship at home too. And if you enable your preteens to run slides/videos for you, that’s a great way to engage them and give them opportunities to serve at the same time.
At-home Activities – Equip the parents in your ministry with awareness of or access to Biblical apps, games, and websites. Some of my families’ favorites include AdventureBible.com, The Aetherlight (a Biblical allegory computer game), and JellyTelly (it’s like a kids’ Christian version of Netflix). You can also create videos or podcasts for families to listen to at home or in the car that remind them of the lesson, prepare them for what’s next, and encourage discussion. Because the car is quickly replacing the dinner table as the family gathering place, providing resources kids and families can use on-the-go will remind them of the lessons each week and keep them engaged in the overarching story of the unit.