8 Traits of Digital Kids

8 Traits of Digital Kids, originally uploaded by jcisonline.

Over the next few days I’m going to talk about a portion of the breakout that I’ve prepared on Digital Kids. While all 8 traits come from a book called “Grown up Digital” by Don Tapscott. It’s a great read for anyone involved in either Children’s Ministry or Student Ministry and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in how media and technology are affecting our youngest generations.

Sit tight and we’ll get rolling pretty soon!

Little bit of Failure Today

The Fail Boat, originally uploaded by Certified.

I posted a video that was meant to be fun today. Watched til what I thought was the end and thought it was funny and posted it.

Was Not the End.

The video ends with a totally inappropriate phrase that should hav e never been on this blog. Totally unlike me to let something like that slide but it happened. Thank God for Grace and for letting me continue to get some humble pie on this one. Big thanks to Todd McKeever from Take 2.0 Ministries for letting me know about the questionable phrasing at the end of the vid. Thanks for keeping integrity a high value and doing it in a awesomely humble way. I am thankful….

Sorry to all who saw the vid til the end and experienced the whole thing. Stinks that this happened but it did and I apologize.

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it”
-Ben Franklin.

Getting Parents “In”

Bad Parenting 092307, originally uploaded by masterthon2004.

It’s a super tough thing for people in Children’s Ministry. Trying to get parents to jump the hurdle and just invest in their kids spiritual walk. Transitioning from a drop off mindset to one that is creatively leading their child’s spiritual journey is way more than a baby step walk. But how do we get them to step out where they may feel uncomfortable.

I think this blog from Seth Godin gives some great insight. He talks about the marketing of a unicycle. Basically you go from failure to success in what seems like an instantaneous change. It’s an incredibly great read and like most everything Seth does takes 2 minutes.

But from our side. How in the world do we “Create non-unicycle moments” for Parents? How can we get them to celebrate what may seem like a meaningless failure? How can we get them to push forward even though the only thing that continues to be in their face is failure?

What opportunities can you take to Get Parents to recognize the influence they have on their kids, while they stare in the face of failure?

Sold Out !!

Michael Jackson – Sold Out !!, originally uploaded by Lu-Gu.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Some other guy posting about Michael Jackson. Well not exactly what this post is about. In fact, it’s not what the post is about at all.

But really this post is about being Sold Out. And not the cliche “Sold Out for Jesus” even though you should be.

But what about events? Do you ever sell out events in ministry? I mean it’s one thing to desire to sell out but do you sell out.

Like do you let people in at the door without tickets or something? Let me tell you a story.

We had an event at a local water park that we capped out at a number of people for comfort and experience. We sold tickets and our advance publication let people know that tickets will be sold out and they will not be able to get in without a ticket. We sold out this Sunday before the event on Thursday. We had a ton of people call day of and wanted tickets even though we had already sold out. We let them know we were sorry but that we didn’t have any tickets left.

Now up to this point I’m sure everyone in ministry has been here. You’ve sold out an event and we’re ready to go.

But what about those people that show up unannounced “clueless” that they needed a ticket. Where do you draw the line between communication and ministry?

This time it came down to the fact that we felt if we sold tickets at the door we would be saying one thing (no tickets available to those that called) and doing another (selling tickets at the door) over holding a hard line and possibly hurting some families in the process that didn’t receive, understand, or were even unaware of the message about needing tickets.

But where do you draw that line? Where do you cross the line for giving to people and yet making sure that people understand the communication is there for a reason and that they need to make preparations for it?

Tough one to do but where do you draw that line?

Little Big Planet over 1,000,000 levels!

I saw this article in USA Today talking about how Little Big Planet a game for PS3 with the tagline “Play, Create, and Share” has received over 1,000,000 levels to play online.

Just goes to show you that media creation is at an all time high. With only 2.4 million (insert overstatement joke here) people playing this game. That is a great ratio of level created to player.

This is where our KiDs and Students are headed. How can we develop this and put some structure behind it without totally killing their desire to do so?

Birthday Wish List

Dinosaur Birthday Cupcakes, originally uploaded by abakedcreation.

Ok…so I was gonna tell everyone what I wanted for my birthday, which is exactly 2 weeks away, and some wishes and dreams to accomplish over the next year but then I ran across something so incredibly interesting that I decided to change my entire post content to show it to you. Unbelievably funny.

I was searching for autograph copy and then to my eyes amazement on Google it ended with “of the Bible”!

This link led me to a Craigslist page. Very funny and probably illegal but I laughed. Hahahaha


Stone altar, Dzibilchaltun, originally uploaded by cpence.

Here’s a list for you:

Noah, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Balaam, Saul, Elijah, David, Solomon, and Ezra

What do these guys have in common besides being in the Bible and the fact that I am probably about to use them to teach you something?

Well these were all people who built altars to honor God after a particular experience with God. And let’s not forget Abraham who built more altars than anyone else in the Bible.

Altars in the Bible symbolized communion with God and memorialized significant encounters with Him.

For modern day altars we have Baptism and well… that’s about it. In Children’s Ministry we have a Child Dedication class as well to memorialize a significant spiritual development point in both parents and KiDs.

But what else? I think we would all agree that encounters in the Bible are plentiful, but what percentage of those encounters are baptisms?

Now please don’t take this as a criticism of baptism because it’s just not. Baptism is the first step in showing obedience to the new Lord in our life. It is a symbol of the death, burial & resurrection of our Lord and describes our relationship with Him. We’ve died to the old self and been born new of the Spirit of God.

But instead what spiritual development points are put into place for kids’ lives past baptism? What rites of passage per se does your Children’s Ministry or Student Ministry have in place to symbolize spiritual development.

What are your thoughts? What can we do to help our kids understand when they have a significant experience with God?

Digital Kids Day 2

Digital Kids, originally uploaded by jcisonline.

Ok so here is the quote for Day 2!

A visual world
Digital kids are completely comfortable with the visual bombardment of simultaneous images, text and sounds because they provide relevant and compelling experiences that can convey more information in a few seconds than can be communicated by reading an entire book.

Moreover, these new media are not just designed for passive viewing because increasingly, passive viewing just doesn’t cut it. This generation no longer wants just to be the audience; they want to be the actors. They expect, want, and need interactive information, interactive resources, interactive communications, and relevant, real life experiences – something that helps explain the rise in popularity of reality-based shows like Survivor.

This quote comes from Understanding Digital Kids (DKs): Teaching & Learning in the New Digital Landscape

So how can you use this information in your ministry context?

Digital Kids Day 1

Digital Kids, originally uploaded by jcisonline.

This week I wanted to do a series on Digital Kids. I am working on a breakout on this very subject to teach to some volunteers very soon. The breakout focuses on how the way that children learn is changing.
So for this week I will post a statement or fact about digital kids. I want you to post a way that you think this could be used in your Children’s Ministry setting. Basically I want to start a roundtable add in from peeps in Children’s Ministry around the country helping us to be ahead of the curve on ways that we can help kids learn where they are at and use technology to bridge the gap.
Today’s blurb:

Self-Directed, Peer-Based Learning

In both friendship-driven and interest-driven online activity, youth create and navigate new forms of expression and rules for social behavior. In the process, young people acquire various forms of technical and media literacy by exploring new interests, tinkering, and “messing around” with new forms of media. They may start with a Google search or “lurk” in chat rooms to learn more about their burgeoning interest. Through trial and error, youth add new media

skills to their repertoire, such as how to create a video or customize games or their MySpace page. Teens then share their creations and receive feedback from others online. By its immediacy and breadth of information, the digital world lowers barriers to self-directed learning.

Basically this quote from Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project by the MacArthur Foundation we see that Kids will do what it takes to acquire a skill on their own and will use peer based learning aka twitter, message boards, and forums to do so. How can we use this to help kids learn more about Christ, the Bible, Church, etc? Are there resources being developed or that exist that we can show them to allow them to find out themselves?

More Importantly how can you use this in your ministry context?

I want to know tons of different ways we can use this info. Please comment so we can work together to teach “Digital Kids” about Christ.

Sending a tweet about this now!

Digital Kids

Young Photographer at Work, originally uploaded by inkswamp.

In a couple of weeks we will be having our annual Children’s Ministry Summit for our Volunteers. This year our staff will be teaching breakouts for our Volunteers to choose from. I am doing a breakout on “Communicating with Digital Kids”. I’m pretty pumped about it.

Here is something I ran across as I was doing some research thought you might find it interesting…

Summarizing the real digital divide…
1. Native learners prefer receiving info quickly from multiple multimedia sources while many teachers prefer slow and controlled release of info from limited sources.
2. Native learners prefer parallel processing and multi-tasking while many
teachers prefer singular processing and single/limited-tasking.
3. Native learners prefer processing pictures, sounds and video before text while many teachers prefer to provide text before pictures, sounds and video.
4. Native learners prefer random access to hyperlinked multimedia information while many teachers prefer to provide information linearly, logically and sequentially
5. Native learners prefer to interact/network simultaneously with many others
6. Many teachers prefer students to work independently rather than network and interact.
7. Native learners prefer to learn “just-in-time” while many teachers prefer to teach “just-in-case” (it’s on the exam).
8. Native learners prefer instant gratification and instant rewards while many
teachers prefer deferred gratification and deferred rewards.
9. Native learners prefer learning that is relevant, instantly useful and fun while many teachers prefer to teach to the curriculum guide and standardized
This isn’t a matter of who’s right or wrong It’s not a matter of either/or. This isn’t a matter of them or us. It’s not a matter
of which way is better. The bottom line is that kids ARE different. They communicate differently than we do. They’re motivated by different things than we are. They process information differently than we do. And most importantly, they learn differently than we do.

You can go here for the entire paper.

So what do you think? Anything you want to know about digital kids?