8 Questions Every Children’s Minister Should Ask to Help Kids Navigate Faith in a Digital Age
With church and school closures due to COVID-19, adults are leaning on technology to help with in-home learning, and parents have an unprecedented opportunity to tap technology to help children engage spiritually. A new study—Guiding Children to Discover the Bible, Navigate Technology & Follow Jesus—by Barna Group, produced in partnership with OneHope, reveals that even though tech is pervasive for kids, most parents and churches aren’t leveraging it for Bible engagement for children.
“This is clearly seen in our findings that show a substantial dip in Bible engagement for 10–12-year-olds,” says Rob Hoskins, President of OneHope. “Right as they enter an age where they are ready for more, we’re giving them less.”
According to data in the Guiding Children study, six in 10 (58%) highly engaged Christian parents choose a church based on the children’s programming. “Regular church engagement, though important for growing a consistent faith life, doesn’t appear to have as significant an effect as regularly interacting with scripture,” says Brooke Hempell, Senior Vice President of Research at Barna.
“We feel called to reach children wherever they are,” explains Hoskins. “If they are in the digital realm, then tech is where we are going to meet them. We hope parents will commit to using whatever means necessary to develop spiritual formation and faith development tools to feed our kids from the richness of God’s word.”
Data from Guiding Children highlights several key challenges—and opportunities—for parents and ministry leaders in children’s faith formation, including the vital role of Bible engagement, the changing landscape of tech and media and the ongoing importance of church and communities in cultivating resilient faith.
- Am I intentionally providing connection points for the young parents I serve?
- Have I openly developed a plan with the parents in my ministry for when and how sensitive topics should be addressed with their children.
- How am I strategically keeping tweens engaged in my ministry so they don’t become the teenagers who lose interest?
- Do I see myself as a partner to the parents in my ministry?
You can download this infographic to see all of the questions. To learn more about how to guide children in their faith formation whether you’re a parent or ministry leader, check out the Guiding Children report.