For the past 10 years, broadcasts networks like ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, have been doing the bare minimum of children's programming.
And they've been paying the price for this decision. While they have been backing away from children's programming, other networks who see the value of it, are creating content.
Hulu recently announced they are bringing back the "Animaniacs" in 2020.
Amazon is rolling out original children's content. They recently had the premiere of "The Dangerous Book for Boys."
Netflix is also putting out original children's programming that includes originals such as "Julie's Greenroom" and "Beat Bugs" and "My Little Pony" and "The Cat in the Hat."
HBO just debuted “Esme and Roy,” a Sesame Workshop series and its first animated show in more than a decade.
Nickelodeon is debuting “Charlie’s Colorforms City, which is a reboot of Blues Clues.
PBS is focusing on low-income and high-need populations. They want to make sure everyone has access to their programming.
While some networks are not putting out kid-friendly content, as you can see above, other networks are making children a priority. They understand that when you make children and their parents a top priority, you will reap the benefits across the board.
“Streaming services are realizing for them to scale up their adoption they have to have a broad offering of services that appeal to everyone in the household. There’s no ambiguity that if kids and family is not an audience you serve, there’s going to be a limit to how many subscribers you’re ever going to have.” (Steve Youngwood - COO and president of media at Sesame Workshop.)Steve also said their programming for kids will address a range of age groups and that it will be a great way to launch their partnership as they seek to engage kids and families. The end goal is to impact kids in a positive way.
Producers are seeing that kids are loyal. They know if they can get kids to start watching one streaming service and their parents trust and respect it, they will grow up with it.
It's time that we, as the church, see the importance of focusing on the next generation. Just like some networks have moved away from making children's programming a priority, some churches have done the same thing.
That's why we have to champion children's ministry in our churches. You may feel like you're the only one in your church that "gets it" when it comes to children's ministry. You are not alone. We are with you. Be the voice for children's ministry in your church. Be the person who champions children's ministry in your church.
I've seen churches who have the same mindset as some of the networks. They just do the bare minimum for children's ministry. A shoe string budget. While the children's ministry has to beg for appropriate financing, other ministries are well taken care of. No church-wide promotion of children's ministry. Facilities that are sub-par. No emphasis on volunteering in children's ministry.
And those ministries are struggling. When you don't give support and priority to the most effective growth engine in your church, you will struggle.
Don't be discouraged. Keep reaching kids and families. Keep asking for what you need for the ministry to be effective. Dream big. Plan big. Pray big prayers. Cast a big vision.
You are reading this because you care about children's ministry. I believe God wants to use you to elevate the importance of children's ministry in your church.
If you want help making children's ministry a priority in your church, then I recommend going through the seminar "Making Children's Ministry a Priority in Your Church." You can download it or stream it. It can also be used as a training session for you and your volunteers. Over 2 hours of teaching. It's available at this link.
My prayer is that your children's ministry will be promoted, elevated and become a top priority in your church.