Let’s get down to brass tax here.
More tweeting isn’t the answer to what ails your children’s ministry.
So what are some tried and true methods for attracting more children on Sunday and how can you keep them coming back for more?
Here are 10 ideas that will flat out work:
1. Plan for new kids (wait….)
I know this sounds trite, but have you ever truly looked at your program from an outsider’s perspective or do you show up every Sunday and assume that the regulars, who know what to do, are the only ones who are going to show up?
When you don’t plan for visitors you are unintentionally turning them away. Instead of making a new visitor’s first visit carefree, the new parents and kids end up stressed out all morning because they don’t know where to go or what they should do.
Leaders – make sure there is a culture inside and outside the classroom of saying “if you’re new here…”
If you want to attract more kids to your ministry, make your ministry visitor friendly.
2. Make child safety obvious
A parent’s chief priority when they drop their kids off at Sunday School is not their spiritual well-being.
Sorry – it’s the truth.
The parents of elementary kids are most concerned about their child’s safety. If the parent has to sit in the service and worry about whether or not their kid will be there when they go to pick them up, your ministry has failed and they will not be coming back.
Make your attention to safety obvious and overt. Name tags, room boundaries, and leaders supervising doorways, are all things that immediately signal to a parent, “this is a safe environment, it’s OK to leave my kid here.”
If you want to attract more kids to your ministry, make child safety overt and intentional.
3. Fun is #1
Your primary goal on Sunday morning is to teach God’s Word and to see the lives of kids changed.
That is wonderful.
But keep this in mind. The kids are not showing up to be spiritually fed.
Think about it this way…When you were in third grade did you walk into church thinking about how great the message was going to be?
No! You were concerned with the amount of fun you were going to have and if your friends were going to be there.
Every week, look at what you have planned and make sure it is what the kids need (spiritual food) couched as what they want (loads of fun).
If your program isn’t fun for kids, you’ll never get a chance to reach their heart.
If you want to attract more kids to your ministry, make Sunday a fun day.
4. Be UN-predictable.
One of the best ways to get kids to tell their friends about church is to regularly surprise them when they come to church.
If a kid walks into class never knowing what to expect that only builds the level of excitement for them.
If you want to attract more kids to your ministry, mix it up.
5. Plan regular special events
Sunday is not always the easiest time for new visitors to try out your ministry. Whether its obligations at a different church, or the day that they usually stay home, Sunday isn’t always ideal.
So plan special weeknight events to attract believers and unbelievers alike. I’m talking hayrides, funny skits, great movies, amazing special guests, service days, games, and more.
Not only will this attract newcomers but it will give your regulars a chance to invite their friends to church!
If you want to attract more kids to your ministry, give them an opportunity to try it out.
6. Focus on the content
Truth talk: Most leaders fail here
They might have a cool room all decorated and tricked out, but they fail to invest the time during the week to make Sunday great.
Study for your lesson. Know where you are going.
Don’t ever stand in front of a class and wonder out loud: “Let’s see…what should we do here????”
Have everything organized before class begins.
Sunday morning should be an experience for the kids to enjoy, not a make-it-up-as-you-go show.
If you want to attract more kids to your ministry, plan before you preach.
7. Host chapels at local Christian schools
Take your show on the road!
Find your local Christian schools and offer to speak at a chapel. There is someone responsible at every school to fill up an entire year’s worth of chapel with speakers. I bet they would love to give you a spot!
Then – once you show up to chapel, blow the kids away with a great presentation.
The kids will walk away from the chapel saying…”I want to go to THAT church!”
If you want to attract more kids to your ministry, take your show on the road.
8. Invest in a curriculum that doesn’t bore kids!
Most Sunday School curriculum is written minus any fun and excitement. No games, no skits, no videos. No fun.
Change curriculum immediately and give your volunteers a chance to keep kids interested every week!
If you want to attract more kids to your ministry, use great curriculum. I’d suggest mine.
9. Start the week with the week’s end in mind
Have you ever walked into a church and wondered what the church staff did all week?
It’s that feeling of walking your kid down to their class and when you get there all the leaders are trying to find a pencil to write with and something to occupy the kids already in the room.
I don’t believe church staff ever does it intentionally, but every week they let Sunday ‘sneak up on them’. Instead of beginning their work week with what needs to be done for the weekend they are off taking care of other church business or worse, recovering from the previous Sunday they somehow pulled off.
If you want to attract more kids to your ministry, make your ministry (Sunday Morning) your priority every week.
10. Ask God
It’s last, and it’s everything.
We often get so focused on our strength and our wisdom that we forget to ask God for His.
James 1:5 clearly says, if we need wisdom from God, all we have to do is ask. And James goes on to say that God won’t ever fault us for asking!
Want to know where you need the most improvement? Want to know how to take your kid’s ministry to the next level?
He’s much wiser than any blog post you’ll ever read.
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