Here are some things to consider when ministering to the Homelander Generation (born 2003-2021)
A recent study from Knowledge Networks/SRI entitled, “How Children Use Media Technology” reveals 61 percent of children 8-17 have televisions in their rooms, 35 percent have video games and 14 percent have a DVD player. Seventy-five percent of those who have a television in their room report multitasking with other media. With the rise of broadband and wireless access, these numbers are destined to move upward.
That means we can’t do ministry using the same media we used twenty years ago. Flannelgraphs, video slides, overhead projectors, and tape machines are the dinosaurs of the present day ministry. While we can’t keep up with all of the technological advances of today’s world, we do need to educate ourselves as much as we can. Fortunately computer technology is more affordable than it ever was.
If this technology is beyond you, seek the help of a teenager in your church. Also work with your pastor to set up a budget for things like video projectors, IPods that hook in your sound system, and video cameras with video editing programs. You may not be able to enter the twenty-first century all at once, but work toward getting there.
Homelanders process bits of information at an amazing speed. This can be a good thing for ministry. You can teach this new generation more of God’s Word than their predecessors could have ever taken in at their age. But you’ll have to do it in a different way. Teach these children information in small bite size bits. Don’t dwell on any one thing for more than five minutes at a time, or you’ll lose the generation that in on informational overload. Also repeat important concepts often to keep them from getting lost with all the other info bites Homelanders have to deal with.
Homelanders are self-directed while Millinnials are more team players. This means you’ll want to gear your children’s ministry for more individualized projects for children and less projects where children work as a team.
One example of this might be a missions fundraiser. Millinnials would prefer to do a fundraiser where they all work together as a team such as a car wash or a bake sale. Homelanders might prefer a contest where each of them comes up with their own project to earn funds.
Also, since Homelanders are self-directed, focus on what they can do to make a decision to serve God as individuals. Also because they think as individuals and not a collective, one on one time through home visits, phone calls, and email becomes more important.
Millinnials are known risk-takers, but it looks like Homelanders will be more cautious. Because of this, they may need more encouragement when it comes to riskier Christian activities like witnessing to their friends.