How Ministries Can Create Online Content for Families


New research has revealed that parents and kids are spending more time watching content together at home.

Of course, a big part of this is due to COVID-19, but the research is showing that even after the virus passes, families are going to be spending more time viewing online content together.

Over 3,000 parents were interviewed about watching content with their children. Over 75% of the parents surveyed said they watch online content with their children several times a week.

Once the pandemic ends, 66% of parents expect the time they spend watching content with their kids will either stay the same or increase. More than half of parents (62%) said the most popular device for co-viewing are smart TVs.

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YouTube Kids, Disney+ and PBS Kids are the most popular viewing channels. Here are the big platforms families are watching on together.

— YouTube Kids, 95%.

— Disney+, 75%.

— PBS Kids, 46%.

— Kidstream, 22%.

— Noggin, 21%.

— Boomerang, 15%.

— DreamWorks TV, 15%.

— Hoopla, 15%.

The families surveyed said that the kids are usually the deciding voice in what the family watches. As usual in most aspects of family life, the kids have great power when the family is making a decision.

Due to COVID-19, many ministries have started offering online services for kids. The content is created specifically for kids—which is a good thing—but what if someone decided to make the content geared not just for the kids but for the parents and their kids to watch together?

We often talk about ways to help kids and parents grow together spiritually. I believe this would be a great way to help accomplish this. At this time, I am not aware of any churches or ministries that are doing this.

Here is what I envision for this:

— A format where kids and parents both actively participate, one intertwined with the other.

— Content where one is dependent on the other. (For example, have kids say a key verse, then the parent and then both say it together.)

— Icebreakers where kids and parents work together to deepen their relationships.

— Activities that parents and kids do together, hands-on and participatory.

— Promote it as a family activity. Parents must participate for it to work for their family.

— Lead kids and parents in a time of prayer where they pray for each other and other requests they may have.

— Make the videos 10 minutes or so.

— Have them do a project or activity during the week that ties into the lesson. Kids and parents would do this together.

— Make it live, but then also put it on demand so families are not just limited to one time slot.

— Use platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Zoom and others.

The entertainment world has been doing this for decades. Companies like Disney create movies that are aimed at kids and parents watching them together. Some of the bestelling movies of all time have been movies aimed at kids and parents watching together.

I see so many possibilities with this. It might be a great way to really engage kids and parents together.

Dale Hudson has been in children's ministry for over 30 years. He has helped build some of the largest and fastest growing children's ministries and churches in the nation. At Christ Fellowship in South Florida, he helped the church grow from 12,000 to over 28,000 people attending each weekend. In eight years there, he built a volunteer team of over 2,600 that ministered to thousands of kids each weekend.

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