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The 5 Biggest Challenges Children's Ministries Will Face in 2024



As we prepare to enter a new year of ministry, there are some challenges we will face.  Here are the 5 biggest. 


Infrequent Church Attendance


We will continue to see families attend once or twice a month or even less.  

This has some serious consequences.  When parents choose to make church attendance an option instead of a top priority, kids will grow up and treat church attendance like an option you choose when nothing else is happening. 


What one generation deems as optional, the next generation will deem as unnecessary. 

Somehow we have to get through to parents and help them realize this.  I believe the earlier we can instill this into parents, the better they will set the right priorities.  Once kids reach elementary school and are entrenched in weekend activities outside of church, it is hard to see them readjust their priorities.

 

I have found success in helping parents understand this when their children are in nursery or preschool ages.  This can be accomplished by being intentional to communicate this to young parents.  If they can make the decision to prioritize church in their child's early years, they can establish a godly foundation that will help them as their children grow into their elementary years. 

 

Here is the milestone class I created to help with this.  It is called Parent and Child Dedication Class.  You can check it out at this link. Don't let another dedication pass without having a class attached to it for parents to attend.  It will help you connect with parents and help them establish the right priorities. The class spends about 15 minutes teaching about what the dedication means and then 30 minutes teaching parents about how to raise their children to love Jesus.


Shallow Faith


If a child only went to school once a month, what kind of education would they have?  They would obviously be way behind.  

The natural result of infrequent church attendance is shallow faith.  

The majority of children who attend church today are Biblically illiterate.  

We must be very intentional about what we teach.  Our lessons should point kids to Jesus and how to live for Him.  If I were to ask your church kids what they have learned in the last 12 months, what would they say?

Would they be able to say, as a minimum, what they have learned and started living out in the last 12 months?  


I use Connect12 curriculum and the children can tell me from memory the main points we have learned in the last 12 months.  There are several keys that make this happen.  Check out Connect12 curriculum and you can see more about this amazing curriculum that helps kids develop a strong and solid faith foundation.  You can see more at this link.


Wrong Priorities


This ties into the first point.  Parents are not making the things of God a priority.  Rather, the things of God are usually an afterthought.  

We must partner with parents and equip them to raise their children to follow Jesus and put Him first in their lives.  We know that most of what children grasp comes not from what we say, but from what we do.


The pastor of a church can be a big help when it comes to helping parents set priorities.  The pastor can teach parents about getting their priorities right.  When it comes to parents, the pulpit does carry a lot of weight.  Connect with your teaching pastor about this.

 

Lack of Volunteers


Every children's ministry faces this.  No matter the size of the children's ministry, it needs more volunteers.  


This will continue to be a challenge for all of us as we head into 2024.  But don't lose heart. You can build a dynamic volunteer team.

 

In my book, The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams, I share some key steps you can take to build a great volunteer team.  It is the formula I used to build  a volunteer team of over 2,000 in 9 years.  You can get an ebook or paperback at this link.


Unwillingness to change


How we do ministry continues to change with each passing year.  I am sure 2024 will reflect this as well.  


The challenge for many churches is they don't want to change.  They refuse to take a hard look at what they are doing and adjust as needed.  They keep doing the same thing the same way and wonder why they lose momentum each year. 

 

What we teach doesn't need to change.  But how we teach and communicate with kids and parents must change if we want to stay relevant and effective.  The "what" is not optional and cannot be put up for a vote.  But the "how" can be.


2024.  What other challenges do you see coming?  Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

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