How The Internet Has Changed Kids Ministry

I ran across this family video (originally released on VHS tape – remember those?) the other day. It was produced in 1997 and was intended to teach kids who to use the internet. From this video, you would assume the only purpose the internet was to give kids a hands-on education. Of course, we realize just how much the internet has evolved since 1997.

Very little was mentioned about internet safety. In this piece that spans over 25 minutes, a mere 12 seconds was dedicated to teaching kids internet safety. My, how things have changed.

I certainly did my fair share of laughing at the styles, lack of high-res graphics, and the hokey theme song. It also got me thinking. How much has the internet changed Kids Ministry in the last 15 years? In 1997, a Children’s Ministry wouldn’t even have thought of having their own site for kids to come interact and learn about God’s Word.

What are the different ways that YOUR ministry is using the internet to minister to kids? Share some of your best ideas in the comments section. We owe it to each other to help each other learn!

9 thoughts on “How The Internet Has Changed Kids Ministry

  1. We’ve used the web in the middle of our service on Sunday morning to stream a guest, and to show selected video clips to go with the message. Great tool for bringing a missionary right into your mission’s message.

  2. We use YouTube on a weekly basis for songs and lyric videos for the kids. For a twist on a lesson, I often look for excerpts of a movie on YouTube and show it in class. Also, Pandora is a GREAT option for having kids worship music playing in the background. In times past, I’ve communicate with the parents through Facebook, and kept the families posted on what we were doing in class by posting photos, lesson material, and providing at-home ideas to keep the lesson going at home, all through our Facebook group.

  3. We provide a website called LeadershipForKids.tv that allows parents to stream the same Bible Lessons we use in our Elevate curriculum over any device. There is a free app (Android & iOS) with two free videos a month (and many other videos) and for a small subscription they can have unlimited streaming access to hundreds of Bible Lesson videos with more being added all the time. There are also study questions and family activities available to pair with each Bible Lesson and reading plans to guide families through studying a particular topic, or even through the entire Bible chronologically.

  4. Oh, my! I can’t even remember how it was before the internet. Finding resources online, songs and videos from youtube, previewing curriculum without using the postal service, the Bible online, blogs from Brian Dollar, lol! All of these things and so much more! Seriously, it has changed the way we do ministry.

  5. Back at our church, we don’t have a web for children, our parents with their children can check out our FB site. Every year, at camps for outreach to 11-12 years, we have talks on topics like Peer Presures, Cyber Wellness, etc. Camps for 11-12 year old touches on Friendship: God, you & I. Nowadays due to over dependence on Internet & smart phones our children here have trouble communicating face to face (kind of like they don’t know how or just ran out of topics to talk about-sad but true). But when it comes to texting, they have tons to talk about!
    Hope my sharing helps. Thank you for your article.

  6. I have a question for all of you who do interactive sites for parents or for kids in your ministries, do you know how much the families actually use those options? I’ve considered doing more, but am wondering if it is really worth the effort? If so, what do your families access the most?

    • I would suggest taking a poll. Remember: what works for a mega-church may not be as effective in a small church, but communication with families is the key. I have found that depending on the demographics of a region, the outcomes will be different.

      In my opinion, parents are not trained on HOW to use the resources (what to do with them, how to implement them in their home, etc), and therefore, although parents request communication, they do not use the resources they are given to their highest potential.

      I also think that they don’t use them enough because there is an overload of information. I have found that using a twitter-type communication (140 words of less) for my parents, with links to resources (crafts, music,blog, etc) or to the children’s ministry blog, is more appealing to them than reading through an entire note.

      The newest generation of parents are very technologically savvy, and unfortunately, some of our children’s ministers are not. It is important to train our seasoned leaders, and also to disciple new young leaders who can take critical roles in communication and outreach with the skills that come so naturally to them.

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