Kids may be small, but they are a big factor when it comes to parents choosing a church.
Researchers at Barna found that 58% of parents say children's ministry programming is the primary reason they chose their current church.
One interesting factor - parents that take their children to church on a regular basis are also involved in their children's other activities.
Children that are active participants on Sunday tend to also be involved in spiritual growth activities during the week. They are twice as likely to engage in church outreach activities, Bible studies, camps, etc
So the big question is this - What are parents looking for when they walk in the doors of your church? What are some of the determining factors that they are looking for?
Safety and Security
We live in a new normal when it comes to safety and security. Safety and security is one of the biggest reasons why parents choose a church. They want to know that their child will be safe in your care. This includes things like drop-off and pick-up processes, doors locked down after service begins, a policeman on duty in uniform, being able to contact them during service, etc.
I would encourage you to share your safety and security process to new families as you are walking them to their room.
We must be prepared for this. Attacks can happen at any time and at any place.
Facilities aren't everything, but it does make a big impression with new families. Without even saying anything, it makes a big statement to parents. It says you value the next generation and are investing time and resources into the place where they meet.
The Fun Factor
Parents are looking for a church where their children actually like attending. If the kids complain about the service being boring, parents will take them to a church that isn't boring. When I refer to "fun" it simply means that the service keeps their attention and they are allowed to be kids.
If a new parent gets to the 4-year-old room and there are 30 kids and 2 adults, they will probably not come back. When they drop off their child they are looking at all of the elements involved. Make sure you keep your ratios in balance.
Kids should be able to tell their parents on the way home what they learned. I'm not talking about the standard - we learned about "God" or "Jesus." If you are teaching lessons that kids engage with, they should be able to share the main point at the minimum.
I would encourage you to look at these five parts of children's ministry and see how your ministry is doing. What do you need to change, start doing or tweek? Or it may mean a total makeover
Your turn. What are some other things parents are looking for when they visit your ministry? Share your thoughts, ideas and insight in the comment section below.