Our programs are too small

Your Question:

“We don’t have many children.  There are only a few children in each area.  How can we better minister to a small number of children; and what can we do to attract more children?”

The Issues:

Having just a few children is an interesting challenge.  This challenge could be connected to the demographics of your local community, or to the reputation or “image” of the CM. If your church is located in a predominately elderly community, this may not be “fixable.” If your church is in a community with young families, the challenge might be in the reputation or “image” of the CM. Parents will leave their children in the care of a program that they deem to be safe, fun, and spiritually strong. You need to ask the Lord to help you discern the cause of the challenge.

Scripture Foundation:

“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’”   Matthew 25: 21-23

Short Answer:

Having too few children for the size of your church is a challenge that will force you to prayerfully discern the cause.  If your church is in an elderly community, then you can’t expect too many children.  If your church population includes young families with children who don’t attend the CM, you might be able to adjust the “image” or reputation of the CM.  If you look at the adult worship service and see many children in the audience, this is a clear sign that the parents aren’t confident in leaving their children in your care.  If there are few, if any, children in the adult worship service, then you don’t have to worry about parents not feeling safe with the CM.  Not every church is “called” to be a mega church!  The Body of Christ includes all sizes of local churches. Maybe you should be a good steward of the number of children you have.  As you do that, there are some things you can do to improve the reputation or “image” of the CM.  This effort is never wasted.  You can also make sure that the children who do attend leave happy and wanting to come back.  Remember, the best “ambassadors” for your CM are the children themselves.  If the children go home happy and they can’t stop talking about their experience, their parents will tell other friends to bring their children to the CM as well.  This focus has significant implications on your CM team recruiting and training.  The people on your CM team will either attract children or repel them. To see a visual indicator of the “feeling tone” of the CM, walk around during check-out.  What do you see? Do you see children standing by the doorway just waiting to “get out of there”? Do you see parents standing at the doorway, asking their children to “Come on, let’s go home”?  Both of those observations will tell you much about what the children are experiencing in the rooms. Do they want to leave right away, or do they linger to savor as much as they can from the affirming, fun environment? Ideally, a small child / team member ratio should produce a more positive “image” or reputation.  If the children are just waiting to “get out of there,” you need to directly address this challenge by observing what the team member is doing with the children.  You may need to shift the team around to balance the rough team members with the positive ones. God may be waiting for you to adjust the CM environment before He brings you more children! For more help, click on the links below.

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