Have you heard the phrase, “Kids are like gold”? In my experience, that’s always been true. It is especially true when it comes to the ministry of Sunday School. Parents will often tolerate things they don’t like about a particular church if their children are well-cared for in Sunday School. If your church isn’t paying enough attention to this important part of your Sunday School ministry, you’re going to have a hard time keeping parents engaged in their groups – they’ll leave for the church down the road if you don’t provide the best for their kids. Here are a few ways that Kids’ Sunday School either helps or hurts your church’s efforts to reach new families:
- Consistent teachers will help your church. There is growing acceptance to the practice of having a rotation of people who teach in kids’ Sunday School. Churches that have consistent teachers in the classroom – so that members and guests see the same familiar, safe faces each week, will win the battle for families.
- A lack of security will hurt your church. Parents are used to checking their kids in and out of public schools, private schools, and daycare centers. Even places like Chuck-E-Cheese pizza parlors have a check-in/check-out system to prevent children from being taken by the wrong adult. If your church has no system of security, or if it has a system that is not enforced, it is going to hurt your church. Parents want their children to be secure. Your church’s insurance company is going to demand that you have a system in place.
- Sterilization of toys will help your church. In these days of the Coronavirus outbreak, parents should be asking teachers and leaders in kids’ ministries, “How are the toys in my child’s classroom sterilized after each session that takes place in their room?” This is a big deal, so go ahead and ask your church’s kids’ ministry leaders. This is too important for churches to get wrong these days.
- Lack of training will hurt your church. The public school teachers who have children in the classroom go through hours and hours of ongoing training. How about the teachers in your church’s kids’ ministry? Are you able to reassure the members and guests that they are leaving their children with the best trained workers in town? You should. It’s a huge differentiator. At what church would you feel good about taking your kids? The church that has a plan for training the workers who are in your kids’ classroom, or the one that doesn’t address training at all?
- Smaller classes will help your church. The last thing a parent wants to see is a classroom full of young kids. Chaotic environments are not your church’s friend, so think about the number of kids per room. As a good rule of thumb, you should allow 35 square feel of space for preschoolers, and 25 square feet for grade school aged kids. Take the room size in square feet, divide it by 25 or 35 square feet, and see what the maximum recommended occupancy of the room is. Now look at the room’s average attendance. If you see a big discrepancy, it’s time to start some new groups!
- Not calling attention to your church’s kids’ Sunday School will hurt your church. Whatever is important to a pastor often becomes important to the church. If a pastor lifts up the kids’ Sunday School teachers and the church staff who lead them, he sends a powerful message of support and solidarity. Interviewing families on the platform, having a commissioning service at the beginning of a Sunday School year, or focusing on kids’ ministry during summer (camps/VBS weeks) will call people’s attention to one of the church’s most important ministry areas. Don’t let kids’ Sunday School get “out of site” because then it will be “out of mind.”
Follow my blog at kenbraddy.com (sign up in the upper right sidebar menu). I’ll send you three posts a week to equip and encourage you in your leadership role!