Stop overstimulating and engage kids through liturgy.
Tear down silos in our congregations.
Specifically, we’ve got to arrange our Sunday schedule to allow children and youth to participate in corporate worship. A lot of churches, operating under the assumption that families will only dedicate one hour to the church on Sunday morning, have intentionally built up a Sunday School wall. Adults go to “worship,” which is often merely a time of entertaining music and some sort of preaching or teaching, while kids go to their own activities. Not only are we denying our entire church family the privilege of worshiping together, we’re denying our children the opportunity to develop connections with the greater life of the church that will last after they’ve graduated from the last age-specific church program. Is it any wonder that kids are leaving the church faster than ever?
Maybe it’s time to reconsider the notion that young people need to be able to have “their” worship.
Yes, it may be easier to hook them with commercial music and pervasive media, but we’re not doing them any favors in the process. And, of course, as with all forms of entertainment, eventually the effects will wear off, and our bright, shiny objects will have to get bigger, brighter, and shinier. And that’s a pretty tough road for the church to travel.