Jun 9, 2016

THE 5 THINGS THAT KEEP CHILDREN'S MINISTRIES GROWING

We have a rose bush in our front flowerbed.  At first, it flourished and produced beautiful flowers.

But not now.  The flowers have stopped blooming and there are no signs of life.  It's branches are brown and crackly.  We've left it there for several months, hoping it will come back.  We'll see...but right now it doesn't look good.

The rose bush has been a good reminder for me of the importance of keeping the children's ministries we lead healthy and growing.

When you see a children's ministry that's growing, there are usually 5 things at play behind the scenes.   

VISION
A growing children's ministry flows from the heart of a leader who has a vision to reach his/her community for Christ.  The vision compels the leader and his/her team to never stop until every, single child and parent in their community is reached.  Not satisfied with the status quo, they focus on the future rather than dwelling on the past.  Great growth comes from great vision.

ADEQUATE SPACE
A growing children's ministry makes sure they are not hindered by the 85% rule.  This rule basically says that when you reach 85% capacity, you will stop growing.  Here's an example.  If your children's ministry rooms hold 100 kids, once you are averaging 85 kids a week in that space, you will stop growing unless you create more space.  This can be done by building or starting more services.  Growing children's ministries keep a pulse on this.

HARD WORK
It takes a lot of hard work to build a children's ministry.  Growing children's ministries are committed to doing the hard work of preparation, planning, follow-up, excellent execution, cleaning and more.  God doesn't bless laziness.  Simply put...pray for a good harvest with the sweat running down the hoe handle.

VOLUNTEER TEAM
A growing children's ministry has a growing team of enthusiastic, committed volunteers.  As your volunteer base grows, your children's ministry will grow because kids are being cared for, ratios are being met and connections are being made.

GOD-FACTOR
Of course, all of the above hinges on the "God-factor."  A growing children's ministry often wonders in amazement as they watch God move.  They know without His anointing and blessing, all their efforts are in vain.  This keeps the ministry humble and constantly seeking God and depending on Him.  They plant the seeds...God grows the fruit.

Perhaps you are reading this and your children's ministry is currently like my rose bush.  Not much happening.  Be encouraged.  Renew and expand your vision, make sure you have adequate space, work hard, grow your volunteer base, seek God's face...and watch your ministry begin to grow.

2 comments:

Hard work is a huge piece - that in itself is a list of 5+ things. This year I'm trying to become better at follow up. We've nailed execution on several events but failed at follow up. We're consistently seeing new kids come through our front door and out the back. While we are certainly growing, I know we could be growing more.

Any tips on closing that back door and keeping kids? My thoughts include:
1. Make kids want to come back - execute better, have more fun, be more relational
2. Make parents want to come back - show them our vision, engage them, excite them about the idea of their kid in our ministry
3. Building friendships - we've got adults who are connecting with kids, each kid is a part of a small group of his peers

Anything big you could offer me? I want to work hard, but it's got to be the "smart" kind of hard!

John, great to hear from you. I think the best way to close the back door is to make the front door shine. Follow-up can enhance a great first experience but it can't overcome a bad one. Every church grapples with this. The national average is only a 7% return rate for first-time guests so if you're doing better than that be encouraged. Here's one simple thing we've done that has helped us move our return rate up to 24% at some of our campuses - http://www.relevantchildrensministry.com/2014/07/one-little-tweak-that-will-bring-guest.html

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