Less than TWO years from now, by 2020, there will be 23M preteens in the US alone. That’s the entire population of Taiwan, the 56th largest country in the world! This age group is poised to be a major force. I’ve been researching how the church can engage with this demographic and

Here are the top five most important things we need to know about preteens today:

 

They spend $260 Billion a year.

Preteens hold an unprecedented amount of power when it comes to how their families spend money. They influence everything from the car you drive to the neighborhood you live in. With that in mind, marketing agencies are racing to do extensive research to discover what makes preteens tick and how to target them so they can create new customers for their clients.

Preteens are the first generation to have their ENTIRE LIVES shared on social media.

Preteens in 2018 were born at the dawn of social media. From their gender reveal party to their first steps and first days of school, their lives have been broadcasted to the world. They are the first generation with a digital footprint that will include their whole life. We’ve yet to see the full impact of this, but we’re already starting to see how social media is currently being used to determine college entrance and whether or not someone will be extended a job offer.

Most preteens spend 10 hours per week in some sort of extracurricular activity.

Preteens have schedules that rival a church calendar with sports, arts, and academics. A large percentage of preteens are involved in so many activities throughout the week, they’re often too busy to attend church on Sunday, or exhausted when they do.

90% of preteens consume some sort of media daily.

From streaming music and videos to playing video games and Group Chats, preteens can access media from anywhere all the time. We don’t have to like it, but we do have to realize this is the new normal.

Most preteens still need a concrete activity to connect abstract ideas to real life.

Preteens are bouncing back and forth between concrete and abstract thinking. One day they can hang with adults and process life, the next they’re struggling to understand how Jesus enters their heart in order for them to be saved.

Preteens have incredible potential, IF you know how to engage with them and help them transition between childhood and adolescence. For more on how to catch your preteens before they fall through the cracks, check out Caught In Between: Now available on Amazon!

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