Children's Ministries That Grow in 2018 Will Do These 10 Things

A new year of ministry has begun.  It will be filled with not only challenges, but also great opportunities to impact kids and families for Christ.

There will many children's ministries that will remain plateaued or even decline.  But there will also be some children's ministries that will reach kids and families and will grow.

What will the ministries that grow do?  What will set them apart from the ministries that don't grow?  Here are 10 things.

Children's ministries that grow in 2018 will want to grow...I mean, really want to grow.  Everyone says they want to grow, but the ministries that grow in 2018 will be the ones that actually want to grow so much that they will be willing to change what's not working, venture into new territory and take risks.  While ministries that are stagnant will continue to rest in complacency, the ministries that grow will passionately strive to reach more kids and families for Christ.

Children's ministries that grow in 2018 will make sure they have room to grow.  If your space is 85% full, then your growth will be capped.  This includes adult worship space, parking lot, hallways and classrooms.

You can create more space by obviously building more space.  But you can also create more space by starting additional services, asking key families to move to a different service hour or starting an additional campus.

Here's an easy way to check if you have room to grow.  Take your total room capacity and multiply it x .85.

Example - if your children's ministry rooms have a total room capacity of 100, then multiply that x .85.  The answer is 85.  If you have more than 85 kids attending at a service hour in that space, then your growth is capped.  If you want to grow in 2018, then you've got to make an adjustment.  

Children's ministries that grow in 2018 will give guests a great experience.  Following up with guests helps, but the main factor in seeing guests return is giving them a great first experience.  This includes good parking, quick check-in, great signage, welcoming greeters and walking them to their classrooms.

Stats show that guests decide if they are going to return in the first 8 minutes.  Ministries that see guests return will work hard to ensure those 8 minutes are great for families.

Children's ministries that grow in 2018 will get kids and families excited about bringing guests to church with them.  Without new people coming into the church, there is no growth.  Which ministries will have guests come?  It will be the ministries that create a culture of invest and invite among their attenders.  They do this by emphasizing it, providing invite tools and telling the stories of people who have brought friends to church.

Children's ministries that grow in 2018 will have safe and secure environments.  In the world we live in, safety and security is a big, big deal for parents.  If parents don't feel like their children are safe and secure at church, they simply won't return.

Ministries that grow will have a check-in / check-out process that is followed, volunteer or even uniformed officers in their hallways, a clear process for on-boarding new volunteers and guidelines in place such as volunteers never being alone with a child, locking classroom doors once service starts, etc.

You can get great tips and teaching for keeping your ministry safe at the upcoming webinar - Safety and Security in Children's Ministry.  Top experts, including a former Secret Service Agent who guarded the President, will be sharing.  You can get more info. at this link.

Children's ministries that grow in 2018 will have good volunteer to child ratios.  Having a solid team of volunteers is essential for growth in children's ministry.  Growing ministries know this and focus on building a healthy, solid, growing team of volunteers.

The right ratios not only make it safer for the children, but it also helps them be personally known and receive care and prayer.  When this is happening, you will see kids coming back and attending more frequently.

You can read more about what ratios you should have in this article.  The success of your children's ministry in 2018 will rise and fall on the strength of your volunteer team.  You can also get my book The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams at this link.

Children's ministries that grow in 2018 will provide a fun, exciting experience for children.   Instead of just lecturing kids, they will use games, interactive discussions, visual props, activities, crafts and other elements of effective, engaging teaching.

There will be smiles and laughter in the hallways.  Kids will look forward to coming and will drag their parents with them.  If you stand by the classroom exit doors and listen, you will hear kids enthusiastically answer "yes" when their parents ask them the popular question, "Did you have fun today?" 

This doesn't mean the truth will be "watered down."  But it does mean it will be presented in an age appropriate way that creates an irresistible environment.

Children's ministries that grow in 2018 will reach parents.  They know if they are going to keep a family, then they must not only reach the children, but the parents as well.  They will have a strategy in place to connect with, engage and share the Gospel with parents.  If you'd like a proven strategy that has reached thousands of parents, you can check out this link.

We must remember, when we reach a child we change a life.  But when we reach parents, we change an entire family.  And that is when exponential growth happens.

Children's ministries that grow in 2018 will be outwardly focused.  They will go all out to reach children and families who are far from God.  Their mission will be fulfilling the Great Commission.  They'll spend time outside the church serving and being the hands and feet of Jesus in their community.  They'll be so passionate about reaching people that they won't get bogged down with petty issues, tradition, disunity or playing church.

In many cases, the outward focus will be lived out by starting new campuses.  A large percentage of the children's ministries that grow in 2018 will be multi-site and their growth will come through this strategy.

Children's ministries that grow in 2018 will know that growth comes from God and will depend on Him.  While they will work like everything depends on them, they will be praying like everything depends upon God...
because they know it does.  Before, during and after they do the things I've shared above, they will be begging God to work in them and through them.  They know that "all is vain unless the Spirit of the Lord comes down."

They will plant...they will water...and wait for God to give the increase.

I pray God will pour out His blessings on your children's ministry in 2018.  May He bring more children...more parents...more grandparents...more volunteers....more finances...more vision...more passion...more fruit to you!