I had a great opportunity to speak to 170 6th Grade kids and their teachers today about service and why it was important for all of us to reach out and help others. I love kids and their zest for life. Let's face it, they are the future generation of people with skills than can make a difference.
Many people go through life ignoring kids, or at least not giving them the credit for their level of understanding. Kids today are very smart, in fact they are more connected to what is happening in the world because of the internet and social media that we ever were. The challenge comes in what are they hearing, comprehending, etc.? Parenting today is not just about doing right and wrong, but also making sure that the kids have a filter for all that they are taking in. Whatever the case, we must be sure that they hear about people in need and the impact that they can make to address these needs.
We see it year around where the over 70+ Universities engage with MMI to go make a difference for the less fortunate. These kids are excited and yet they are very focused to make an impact. Enthusiasm is contagious and every time a group of kids joins our teams, we see the entire team energy level go up substantially. Many of these kids have little to no medical training and yet the impact they make is dramatic. So how do we engage these kids?
There is an old saying in marketing that you have to go where your customer is located. In the case of a ministry, we have three different clients. The first is those we serve, the second is those that volunteer to go and help us serve, and the third is those that donate their resources so that our teams can impact lives. In the case of kids today, we must have a multi-pronged approach to reaching where they gather.
Social Media is a good place to start. Facebook has become so large that it would be the third largest country in the world. Twitter has become a constant communication device to engage with others. Other locations like Instagram, Pintrest, and Stumbleupon are also becoming gathering places for multiple generations.
As great as these vehicles are, there will never be a replacement for personal communication. It is at the very core of ministry to reach out to people and give first hand information about the challenges the ministry faces. I can't help but think about hearing my children singing at the top of their lungs to a really great contemporary Christian song. They know the song because we exposed them to it. Same can be said for working for God. It's a lot easier to see the vision when you have been exposed to the message. When you think about it, it should be a high priority for us all to ensure that others will be coming behind us to continue to serve. Help build the foundation for the future!