How do we take a ministry that is for children and transition it online? This is the question we, along with many other church leaders, face every week.
The Washington Post published a post in 2019 stating that on average, American 8 to 12 year olds spend 4 hours and 44 minutes on screen media each day. Now mix in Covid and more time at home; I can’t help but think that number has probably went up significantly. So how do we create a fun, truthful, and Biblically correct online presence for kids when we are competing with the daily trends on YouTube? These might be some of the questions you are asking yourself as you prepare to take your ministry online. Well, take a breath…. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. And you have the greatest tool ever; the Bible.
The first step in creating online content for your children’s ministry is to decide what you want to share. For us, that’s the easy part; we have access to the truth, you just have to choose which story you want to share. I personally think it’s a great idea to have a few weeks that are very cohesive so you can make the Biblical content into a series. Creating a fun and engaging series for your kids keeps the excitement alive and it can help you as on the content creator to keep characters and sets the same for a few weeks. When creating a series or thinking through segments for your online content, I like to think through a few things:
- Does it point back to the main truth? It’s ok to have a fun segment or something that doesn’t have anything to do with the overarching theme or truth, but for the most part you want everything that you offer online to point back to the story or the truth.
- Is it something that a broad audience could be into or are there lots of different segments that capture a wide range of interests? It’s important for kids to see things that they could see themselves doing. Make your content relatable and relevant.
- Is your segment short? You want to keep your segments no more than three minutes long. If they are more than three minutes long, you want to make sure you have great visuals, interesting sound effects, and music.
- Who is going to help with this? That’s my favorite part; God has positioned people around you that have gifts and talents. Find out what your church community likes to do, and write a character or a segment around something that they naturally do. We have a student that is amazing at drawing, so we just had her illustrate a few pictures for us. We filmed her drawing the pictures and time lapsed them, then we recorded a voice over to go with it and voilà; we had a colorful and engaging Bible story. Look to your church family and create a fun way for them to serve in a way that lets them use their gifts. We also love to get our students and kids involved in our content. Kids LOVE to see other kids on film; I think it helps to make the videos more relatable for them.
You can check out content from Long Hollow Kid’s Ministry here: youtube.com/longhollowkids