Does children's ministry enter into the equation?
Church growth is a sign of a healthy and well-balanced church. A big portion of a church's budget can be easily spent on trying to reach those in the local community with the Good News of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I will never forget the time, years ago, when I was looking for a new church home for my young and growing family. During the process, I visited quite a few churches in the community. One Sunday, I visited a church that initially looked wonderful. The church had a nice cheerful sign out front, modest landscaping and a facility that appeared to be well maintained. I attended the service and really enjoyed the sermon. The people were friendly; I thought I might have found the church I was looking for.
After the service, I asked if I could see the children's ministry area. My hosts obliged and took me down a flight of stairs into the basement. My feelings quickly changed, as I saw that the children's area was in total disrepair and clearly not a priority of the church. I thanked my hosts and left, never to return.
Many aspects enter into the mix as church leaders plan on how best to meet the spiritual needs of those in the community. Sadly, there are times when one of the most important areas of the church is overlooked: the children's ministry department.
Young families want to know that their children are well taken care of and that their kids are being taught in a fun and educational manner. If parents are worried about their children, they will not enjoy the services or get plugged into classes of their own. Is that to say that the children's area has to be a dream palace or a miniature theme park? No, of course not, but the kids' area of the church is very important, maybe more important than the adult sections of the church. Parents may overlook imperfections in their own facilities but the standard is definitely raised when it comes to the areas in which their children will be taught.
Considerable thought should be given to the design and upkeep of the children's facilities. The children's areas of the church should be clean and inviting. The walls should be painted in child friendly colors and decorated with murals, banners, posters and other assorted artwork. The artwork should grab the children's attention and draw them into the wonderful world of Sunday school.
The teachers should care about children and teach in fun and creative ways. Teachers should use every tool at their disposal to make their lessons meaningful and invite the children to explore all the wonders that God has to offer. Children's Sunday school should be a fun and exciting place to visit.
Maps of the various children's classrooms and children's worship center should be predominantly displayed within the entrances into the children's area. This allows parents to locate the area in which their children belong and reassures the children that they will not be lost in the shuffle.
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21. Today's families treasure their children.