It’s been said that Generation Z’s attention focus is 8 seconds (YouTube: “How to Communicate with Gen Z“). What does communication look like in a youth ministry setting, assuming you can’t produce a high quality video every week?

Here are some suggestions on how to enhance your youth ministry talks.

Consider ways your message can be communicated through different multiple intelligences. While you may not be able to utilize all eight of them (nine depending on who you talk to), we should aim to incorporate several of them. If you don’t remember what they are, they include:

  • visual-spatial
  • bodily-kinesthetic
  • musical
  • interpersonal
  • intrapersonal
  • linguistic
  • logical-mathematical
  • naturalist

Shift the focal point every few seconds (doesn’t have to be 8 seconds on the dot). The 8-second concept isn’t about completely changing the scene every 8 seconds. Rather, it’s about intentionally moving their focal point. As part of your talk, you could include different images that highlight or strengthen the concept you’re focusing on. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. For example, say you’re discussing the concept of love. As you’re talking about it, have a picture of a rose displayed either on screen or have an actual rose on a stand near you. You don’t have to directly refer to it; rather you allow the audience to shift their attention and allow that image to also communicate to them in the midst of the talk.

Include other voices. The change in voices also helps in the shift. You could have other people read a Scripture passage (and sometimes even have the same passage read multiple times).

The 8-second concept isn’t meant to be an elaborate enhancement of a message. Rather, let it challenge us to consider how we can broaden God’s message entrusted to us for this upcoming generation.

What other ways do you broaden your message? (Add your suggestions to the comments below.)