Sep 9, 2013

10 Keys to Explosive Growth in Children's Ministry

I have been blessed to be part of growing children's ministries.  Many have doubled or even tripled in size.  I've also studied other ministries that have seen explosive growth.

So what causes children's ministries to experience explosive growth?  Over the last 24 years of doing children's ministry, I've seen 10 common traits that growing children's ministries have in common.

Confidence in God.  There is a sense of confidence...not in human ability, but in God's ability.

I guess you could call it Godfidence.  He said He would build His church.  The leaders walk in this promise.  And when the growth comes, they are the first to admit they're not "good enough" to make this happen.  It's a God thing.

They care about numbers.  Growing children's ministries care about numbers.  They are very aware of how many kids are coming YTD versus last year.  They care about numbers because every number has a name and every name has a story.

Commitment to excellence.  They are in the details and they do them well.  Typos are the exception, not the norm.  Parents trust the leaders because they have a track record of following through on promises.  Half-way is not tolerated.  Second mile is second nature. 

A themed children's area.  Theming has been a turning point for growth in the churches I have served in.  I can show you the attendance records the week before and the week after we completed the theming.  The growth was immediate.

Theming doesn't keep kids, but it definitely gets them in the door.  You can't reach and disciple empty seats.

A strong volunteer team.  Growing children's ministries have strong volunteer teams.  The staff are great team builders.  They are constantly, week-in and week-out,  on-boarding new volunteers and equipping them for the work of the ministry. 

Guests are treated very well.  First-time guest families are a top priority.  From parking to signage to greeting to check-in to entering the rooms, they have thought through and prepared for every aspect of a family's first experience. 

Aggressively evangelistic.  They care about unreached kids and families in their community...a lot.

They keep their focus outward and are heavily involved in the community outside the four walls.  Families in the church build relationships and bring people to church on a regular basis.

Know how to identify lids and remove them.  When they plateau, they know why.  And they fix it.  Whether it means adding space, adding another service, adding more parking, or asking people to move to another service and free up seats...they make it happen.   

Senior leadership is strongly committed to children's ministry.  They support it with an adequate budget, sufficient personnel, and prime "air time."   

Unity.  The staff and volunteer team are unified behind a common vision and core values.  There is healthy debate, but when a decision is made, everyone stacks hands and moves forward.  Disunity is confronted and dealt with.  

A willingness to change.  They constantly evaluate and make necessary changes.  They hold the ministry with open hands.  They are able to rapidly navigate and implement change.

Prayer.  They move forward on their knees.  They know that nothing of eternal value every happens without prayer. 

Your turn.  What are some other key traits you have seen in children's ministries that are growing?  Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

8 comments:

This list is so good! I wouldn't add anything to it! All kidmin leaders should read this!

-Lynne Howard

Thanks Lynne. Trust things are going well in Ala. Appreciate your ministry.

I get tired of hearing leaders say that numbers are not important. That usually is a smokescreen for lack of numerical growth. There is usually a lack of being agressively evangelistic too.
Good article.

Thank you for sharing 'the points' ... they are spot on! I'm sure that any other points or traits would fall under one of the already mentioned 10 ... such as: being consistent and persistent (which could fall under 'identify lids and willingness to change' . Being consistent with providing kid-friendly activities and programs throughout the year ... not just at VBS time. A children's ministry program that is consistent and persistent in providing safe and quality programing for kids is where I see vibrant and growing churches.

Sherri, I think what you mentioned about being safe is so key. Parents won't be drawn to a church where safety and security is not a top priority. Thanks for sharing.

Thank you for the above 10 points which are right on target, insightful, and very important. But let us also remember that none of these are "as" important as the content of what we are teaching.

We must be teaching God's Word, the holy scriptures, as our final authority and supreme revelation of God and his only son Jesus, his plan of salvation through Christ, and his will for our lives.

Keith Wilson

Amen Keith. Thank you for your commitment to God's Word. It's the answer.

Post a Comment