Jul 21, 2011

Children's Ministry Growth Obstacles and How to Remove Them (Pt.2)

Is your Children's Ministry growing? If not, there may be some obstacles that are standing in your way. Yesterday, we looked at ten obstacles that can hinder growth. Today, let's look at ten more and see how we can remove them.

Obstacle #11 - The holy huddle becomes the main focus. When a Children's Ministry turns it's primary focus to insiders instead of outsiders, then growth is stagnated. The focus shifts from reaching kids and families who are far from God to keeping the holy huddle happy.
Obstacle Remover: Intentionally develop outreach opportunities and strategies that keep the primary focus turned toward outsiders. What you emphasize will become important.

Obstacle #12 - Trying to do too much. When a Children's Ministry fills it's calendar full of events and programs, the overall impact is weakened. Volunteers are spread thin, staff is overextended, and excellence is hard to maintain. 
Obstacle Remover: Do a few things well. People are drawn to excellence. Let your strategy decide what gets put on the calendar. Learn to say "no" to anything that doesn't fit into your strategy.

Obstacle #13 - Lack of staff. 
Obstacle Remover: Be prepared to hire an additional staff member. Another effective staff member can help take you to a new level of growth.

Obstacle #14 - Staff stops growing personally or professionally. Everything rises and falls on leadership. When the staff stops growing in these areas, they become the obstacle that hinders growth. 
Obstacle Remover: The staff must continuously be reading, learning, networking, and holding each other accountable for personal and professional growth.

Obstacle #15 - Lack of volunteers. A growing Children's Ministry has a growing team of volunteers. If there is not a solid base of volunteers to care for the people who are being reached, then the growth will not be sustained.
Obstacle Remover: Make building a solid base of volunteers a top priority. When you build a solid volunteer team, you are preparing for the harvest that God wants to send.

Obstacle #16 -Boring services. If your Children's Ministry services or programs are boring, then parents will have to drag their children to your church...and eventually they will get tired of the dragging and move on.
Obstacle Remover: Make your Children's Ministry exciting. Ask children what parts of the service or program is boring. Change or tweak the areas those areas. When kids have fun at church, they will start dragging their parents to church and growth will happen.

Obstacle #17 - Location. Location is not everything, but it can be a factor.
Obstacle Remover: Move to a better location or another great option is to start other campuses. This will allow you to reach families in different areas of your community who would not attend your current location.

Obstacle #18 - An outdated or run down children's area. A good children's area will make your Children's Ministry seem better than it is. An outdated or run down children's area will make your Children's Ministry seem worse than it is.
Obstacle Remover: Build a new children's area or remodel your current one. Use kid-friendly colors, decor, and themes. Every time I have moved into a new Children's Facility or remodeled, I have seen tremendous growth take place. The space does matter.

Obstacle #19 - Lack of relational connections. Children want to be known and valued by volunteers and other children. When they are not, they will begin to feel isolated at church and will not want to come.
Obstacle Remover: Have a Small Group ministry for kids with 6 to 8 kids per group. Have the same kids and leader in the group each week.

Obstacle #20 - Continuing programs and events that are no longer effective.
Obstacle Remover: Each year evaluate what programs and events are effective. Be willing to change or adapt what's not working.

Anything that has life grows. Don't let these or other obstacles choke the life out of your Children's Ministry. Remove the obstacles and ask God to help you reach more kids and families.

Posted by Dale Hudson

1 comments:

To #14, I would add volunteers to that (or maybe you meant that in "staff"?). We need to continue develop leaders at all levels. People need to grow, as I write about here:

http://differentway4kids.blogspot.com/2010/11/how-churches-can-fall-short.html


I'm always curious about #13 -- Do you aim for a certain ratio of staff-to-children, or staff-to-volunteers?

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