Our CM programs are not respected
“We notice many children in the adult services. Parents either don’t respect what we offer for their kids, or they don’t know what we do. How can we improve our reputation or ‘rating’ in the parents’ eyes?”
Parents will place their children into the hands of people who have gained their trust, and where they feel their children will be protected and inspired. If parents are keeping their children with them in the adult worship service, or if they are not bringing them to the CM programs, the problem is either in the core design of the program, in the reputation of the program, or both. This challenge should drive you to your knees as you ask God to show you how to improve the situation. Is your CM vision strong? Is your CM vision reflected in the design of the program, the development of the CM team, and in the reputation of the CM programs? If your programs are safe, spiritually healthy, and good for the children and CM team, then maybe your problem is that your programs are “invisible.” How can you “wave the flag” of what God is doing in the CM in front of the rest of the church. Are you able to make announcements or share testimonies in the adult service? Are you able to create visual representations of the CM’s success (posters, inspirational videos, etc.) outside the CM areas?
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
It is God’s “job” to grow the children’s ministry. He will bless your work in direct relation to your obedience and honor to Him (Psalm 37:4). If God is not blessing your work in the CM, if the CM is not growing, or if the parents are not bringing their children to the CM programs, the first thing you should do is to ask God to “…search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139: 23, 24). He wants to bless His work at your church, but He might be waiting for you to make some corrections in your own personal life, or in the CM itself. Ask Him to show you what might be “offensive” to parents. Conduct a CM “walk-through” during a service or program and ask God to help you see, feel, sense, and smell from the perspective of a parent. If you were a first-time visitor to the church and you were walking through the CM area, would you leave your child there? Ask yourself, “Does the CM look safe?” “Does the CM look friendly?” “Is the CM clean? Does it smell bad? Is there trash or clutter around?” “What does the CM sound like? Do you hear crying babies or kids laughing?” If your “walk-through” doesn’t show you anything that could be offensive to parents, then ask God to help you conduct a “taste test.” Parents talk to other parents. If a child isn’t happy or gets hurt at church, that child’s parent tells other parents. Soon, the reputation of the CM is “bad” and parents keep their children away. Pop into CM classrooms or ministry areas and get a “feel” for the environment. Is the environment friendly, happy, busy, interactive, and positive? Is the CM team engaging the children? Are the children having fun? All of these conditions can affect a parents’ impression of the CM. Finally, ask yourself, “If I was a first-time visitor to this church, what would I know about the CM?” Are there positive visuals around campus, or in the foyer? Are there positive stories about the CM in the bulletin? Are there live testimonies from parents or CM team members on stage during the service? Are there short, inspirational CM videos on the screens in the service? All of these things may help you increase the awareness of and respect for what God is doing in the CM. For more help, click on the links below.
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