Youth matter. The topic of kids come up in most every one of my conversations with congregation leadership teams. Typically though, its a recounting of by-gone days when kids were more present and involved. Our experience of membership decline has not only led to institutional despair and trauma, but severe generational gaps in our churches. The challenges and opportunities concerning our youth have taken center stage before, but often languish amid unfulfilled expectations of the under trained youth worker, unsupported associate for youth ministries, or the rapidly disappearing Director of Christian Education.

The increasing median age of our congregations is a big part of the result as well as the challenge we face. Though we can learn best practices and develop more effective responses to the needs kids face today, one simple thing we all can do now is to focus and pay better attention to our kids. Pay attention. Respect. Listen. Have you or your team really tried this recently?

We need to pay attention to kids. Period. Not just kids within our church, or circles of families and friends, but those who are our neighbors and residents in our communities. When we choose to focus on kids, our mission priorities and resource allocations would shift to support that commitment.

One way we are resourcing this youth intentionality is creating Multimedia Academies in some of our locations. Grants have provided the technology, we recruited proven leadership, and now are starting conversational and creational spaces in our buildings where caring and responsible adults can show love for kids while the youth learn technical and life skills in a safe environment. Our MultiMedia Academy is one way we can pay attention to our community youth.

If your team has been effective in reaching youth in your community, I would like to know more about your experience. Resources abound and together we can demonstrate God's love to young people in more sustainable and creative ways. I'm trying to pay better attention… you with me?

Thanks for all you do today to pay attention to kids.