May 2, 2022

5 Big Reasons Why Kids Pick a Church to Attend

Kids are a big determining factor when it comes to picking a church to attend. 

Parents can visit a church and like it, but if their child doesn't like it, they won't be coming back.  

Studies show that people pick a church based on 2 reasons.

1. How friendly are you?

2. What do you have to offer my child?

That being said, let's talk about 5 big reasons why kids pick a church to attend. 

1. They either have a friend that already attends or they make some new friends on their first or second visit.  Kids are just like adults.  It's all about relationships.  If they don't make friends with someone, they will feel lonely and not want to return.

Here are some practical ways you can help kids make friends at your church:

Be intentional about helping guests find a friend.

Introduce guests to other children that are their age.

Do icebreakers and other relational activities that help kids connect.

Train some children to be "guests' hosts."  Their ministry is to stay with guests for the entire time and get to know them.  This is a great way for children to serve and reach others. 

2. The lessons are engaging.. If you want children to pick your church, then present engaging lessons. Learn how to capture kids' attention and get them involved in the lesson.  Here are great tips on how to do this:

How to be a Captivating Storyteller for Kids

Gen Alpha...What They Like and Connect With 

Welcome Gen Alpha

When parents come to pick up their children, 9 times out of 10 you will hear them ask this one question.

"Did you have fun today?"

What are parents asking their child by referring to the service, class, etc. as fun?  They are asking if it was relevant?  They are asking if it was engaging?  They are asking if the child learned anything?  They are asking if they want to come back?

3. There is a teacher, small group leader, volunteer, etc. that takes an interest in them and shows them kindness and care. 

As you read through these 5 reasons, you will notice that I did not include buildings or facilities. While it is great to have a cool children's ministry space, that is not the primary reason kids want to come back.  

The number one reason they will return is because they heard someone call their name.  They had someone who listened to their prayer requests and prayed for them.  They had someone who genuinely showed they cared about them and took interest in them as a person.

I love this quote by Walt Disney.  He said this right before he opened Disneyland in California.  

You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.

As you think about this, here are some questions to ask:

How are our ratios?  Are our current ratios able to accommodate individual attention?  

Do we have a prayer time in the lesson where kids can share prayer requests and be prayed for by name?

Are we sending follow-up postcards, letters, etc. that are handwritten and addressed to the guests by name?

4. They feel safe in your care.  Today's kids are growing up knowing they and their world can be attacked at any time.  Terrorists.  Kidnappers.  Bullies.  Bombs.  Shooters.  

And remember...being at a church is no guarantee you won't be attacked. We realize this after seeing many shootings that have taken place at a church.  Even in a small, country church like the one in Texas where 26 people were killed.  

The safety measures you have in place to protect children are so important. Kids and parents may not say anything about this up front, but it is a concern that you must address.  Share with them the measures you take to keep kids safe in your care. 

5. They didn't hear a lot of ssssshhhhhhsssss.  The leaders know that kids learn best by dialogue instead of monologue.  Kids are encouraged to get involved by talking, using their learning styles, laughing, engaging in hands on learning and lots of opporutunties to move and just be a kid instead of being forced to "sit still and be quiet."

You are surrounded by children and parents in your community that don't know Jesus.  Let's go all out to reach them with the Gospel.  To see this happen, your church must become a place where children are welcome and children's ministry is a top priority.  

God may be calling you to be the person who grasps this and helps your church live it out.