Mom may drive to the restaurant, but her 9-year-old daughter decides which restaurant they are driving to.
Dad may buy the movie tickets, but his 7-year-old son will decide what movie they will see.
Mom may push the cart down the cereal aisle, but her 10-year-old son will decide what cereal they choose.
Disney is producing some major hits for the theater.
Toy Story 4
The Lion King
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
All of these are family-friendly films. In other words, families go together to see them. But guess who will decide which of these movies they will see? The children.
From the grocery store aisle to the movie theater to the clothes store to the vacation destination to the restaurant, kids call the shots.
This also applies to the church they attend. Mom and dad can enjoy the service, but if their children don't have a good experience, they won't be back.
A church may have a great pastor that brings dynamic messages for mom and dad, but if the teacher in the kid's area is boring, they won't be back.
A church may have amazing praise and worship, but if the kid's music is outdated, they won't be back.
This is especially true with Millennial parents. Their parenting style is a collaborative one. They involve their children when there is a decision to be made.
Millennial parents also spend more time with their children than any previous generation. Fathers are spending 59 minutes a day with their children. This is compared to only 16 minutes a day in the 1960's. Millennials are investing major time in their children. And if you want to reach families, then you've got to capture the attention and heart of their children.
Look behind the door of the fast growing churches and you will see they invest major time, resources and attention to children's ministry.
I believe that children's ministry is one of the top strategies to reaching families and growing a church.
When you take a child by the hand...you take a parent by the heart.
It's true....Kids really do call the shots. This means the best way to reach a family for Christ is through their children.
At one of the churches I served at, we decided to install an indoor playground. Parents could come there and hang out with their children after the service. After we had opened it, I was standing in the playground area, greeting and talking with parents. I noticed a lady who was standing in one of the back corners by herself. She was crying.
I went over to see if she was okay. She told me this.
"I have been trying to get my husband to attend church with me for over 7 years. But he always said 'no.' She pointed at the playground and said, 'See that little girl playing with her father. That's my 3-year-old daughter. This past week she told her dad their was a new playground at the church. She asked him to come to church with her and they could play on the playground after the service. These are tears of joy. I could tell during the service that God was working on his heart. All because our daughter asked him to come'."
Right now, on this Tuesday morning, parents are talking with their children about what they'd like to do this weekend. Create a great experience for kids and they will say, "Can we go to church on Sunday?"
Never underestimate what God can do in the life of a family when their child is calling the shots.