Unfortunately, this is a place many of us have been before. As fewer and fewer people attend church across the country, we must remember why we are doing what we do in kids' ministry. Even if we help just a handful of kids to connect with God, we are doing His work.
Obviously, the more we have in attendance for our kids' church lessons, the better. So, it’s crucial to consider ways to boost the numbers present. Read on to learn about how to use technology, family involvement, events and more, in your mission to keep kids committed to their faith.
Who Isn’t Coming?
Tracking attendance is helpful for a variety of reasons. From ensuring kids are safe and taken care of to knowing how many resources to prepare each week, it is vital to note down who shows up to class. Previously a somewhat grueling experience, attendance taking has been simplified hugely with the help of technology.
With various new technologies out there that now link kids to their parents with a four-digit code, or a QR code, which also contains all of their vital information like allergies and more, check-in has never been easier.
Invest in church management software to help you with organization, and they will even crunch the numbers for you! Tracking trends in attendance from week to week, and year to year, you’ll be able to see what works and what doesn't at a glance.
Why Isn’t the Family Going to Church?
Nowadays, there are, unfortunately, many reasons to answer the question: "Why is church attendance declining?" From increased commitments on the weekend to a rise in secular lifestyles, excuses to stay out of the church are at an all-time high.
But, taking a look at the family unit's attendance and considering why they might not be interested in coming to church together can provide valuable insight into useful ways to change your ministry. Whether it’s an outdated approach to Bible study, or an unwelcoming atmosphere to newcomers, looking inside is important.
Many ministries are seeing the value of including families in the children’s ministry curriculums, and there is a shift toward a more unified approach, focusing on making the experience of church for families instead of just for the kids. The Think Orange curriculum is leading the way here as they prioritize family involvement.
Plus, no matter which curriculum you choose to use, Orange has apps available for both the small group leaders and the parents. With communication channels stronger than ever before, the connections forged between kids' ministry and parents will be solid.
This is incredibly useful, as now the volunteers can reach out directly to the parents when a child fails to attend. With handy reminders to incorporate worship into every element of their child’s life too, the foundations of faith built between child and God will be infallible.
The best part? These apps will make your volunteers’ lives easier too! Now, they can simply download the content for that day and have lesson plans and attendance lists appear instantly on their devices. Parents of the kids can even send in prayer suggestions, boosting connectedness even more!
Why the Kid Doesn’t Want to Go to Church
Once the family is on board with taking their kids to their Sunday school classes each week, we have to ensure the ministry environment is appealing to the kids themselves. Capture their hearts with strong and personable welcomes and their minds with interesting curriculum topics, and transform your ministry into a place that they simply can’t wait to visit.
It’s easy enough for ministry content to become tired and bland, but making sure you put the effort into keeping excitement levels up will pay off greatly. Read our top six tips on how to bring excitement back into your kids' ministry, and you’ll have your students begging their parents to take them to church each week.
Prioritize engaging and dynamic Sunday school lessons alongside exciting digital features, and your attendance will see a boost in numbers. Reaching out to parents when kids don’t show up is another useful way to instill a feeling of responsibility in the minds of their parents. While they may have given up on attending church themselves, they will still want the best education for their kids.
Introduce fun rewards and reachable goals with attendance too, so that kids have more motivation to push their parents to bring them. While there will always be exceptions — times when kids really can’t go to church — we must look out for when they fall into bad habits, as it can be difficult to alter. So, try and nip it in the bud when you see a pattern beginning to form.
Start with a simple email or text message, and consider sending a letter if the issue persists. The goal is never to shame or isolate the families but to see if anything can be done to help. Maybe they have no way of taking their kids to their Sunday classes — maybe you can lend a helping hand.
Want a new perspective on "How to get your kids to listen and engage"?
Listen to this insightful Tedx Talk below: