Feb 6, 2014

Is Your Children's Ministry Attendance Stuck? (Do This & Start Growing Again)

If you'll notice in the poll to the right of this post, the following question is asked.

"What is your biggest growth obstacle right now?"

I asked this question because many children's ministries find their attendance plateaued or even declining.

Our children's ministry has plateaued twice where I serve as director.  On both occasions, it has been due to lack of space.  Either the adult service was full or the preschool area was full.  And once you're 85% full, you're done growing until you make a change.

Both times we plateaued, we made a change that put us back on a growth path.  Here's what we did.

We started one or more additional services.  And as soon as we did that - we started growing again.

Here's some reasons why starting a new service can put you back on a growth path:

It allows you to create more space without having to build space. 
As stated above, once you're 85% full, you're going to plateau.  You can find out what percentage you're at by comparing your room capacity to how many kids are attending on average.

Here's an example - if your rooms have a capacity to hold 100 kids and you're averaging 85 or more kids, then you've hit a growth obstacle.  You've got to create more space.

People want options.
What do you look at closely when you're going to a movie?  The times its showing.  And the more options the better, right?  A movie that has showings throughout the day is going to have a lot more people attend than a movie that only offers one or two viewing opportunities.

The same applies to your children's ministry.  The more options you offer, the more people you will reach.

It creates fresh momentum.
Starting a new service forces you to recruit new volunteers, enlist families to shift to the new service, and creatively communicate.  All of this can create fresh momentum and excitement.

It catches God's attention.
God is not willing that any should perish.  He wants every single boy, girl, mom, and dad in your community to have a relationship with Him.

You see, the deeper issue is not how many people are attending your children's ministry.  It's how many are NOT attending.  You are surrounded by people who don't attend church anywhere.  You are surrounded by people who don't know Jesus.  And that's the number that should keep you up at night.  That's the reason why you've got to create more space and give people more options.

If your children's ministry is plateaued, it's a great problem to have.  But it's not a problem you want to live with.  A new service may be just what you need.


This is more of a Church attendance than a Children's Ministry attendance solution. Unless you are going to do a 2nd service for just Children's Ministry. Plus, this is only a solution if Space is your issue, what if your issue is something else? What if you can't find the reason for your children's ministry attendance to be stuck or declining?

Sometimes the adult auditorium is at 85% and their is still space for kids or visa versa or both. Either way once the area hits 85% you have to build or offer more options to grow more. Yes, this only a space issue. Great question Travis. If you can give me details we might be able to brainstorm with you. There are many factors that can come into play. Are you in a growing area? What is the demographic of your area? Is the Pastor someone who draws young families? Questions like that. Thanks fro sharing. Blessings.

That's a great post for if you have reached capacity. What if you have not reached capacity and are plateaued?

I would need to know what other factors are involved. There is a lid somewhere. Once you identify it you can lift it if leadership is willing.

Thanks for the article, Dale -- we're at this point for Sunday morning, but our Pastor doesn't feel he can physically preach another sermon... or do another service. Have you read the Eric Trap? I feel like that's where we're at... it would stretch our volunteers and staff too thin to do another service... any other ideas? Thanks!!!

What if you recorded the sermon and played it on video at one of the services. Live worship but video sermon? I haven't read the Eric Trap. Will have to check it out. Blessings LIndsey.

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