Over the years, we’ve seen and worked with many of today’s fastest-growing churches.
In every case, they have two main characteristics in common: they’re passionate about their unique mission and they’re reaching families by focusing on kids.
Reaching families is a foundational part of why we work hard to create ridiculously cool, fun environments for kids.
We’ve seen incredible growth from these churches. In every instance, there are three common and consistent keys we’ve seen from these churches, and we’ve shared them here to help your church become even more effective!
Reach the kids and you’ll reach the family.
Simply said, a visible investment in your children’s ministry sends a tangible message to your community that you care about kids and families. It’s a testimony of the church’s commitment to its kids. That’s why churches across the country are creating immersive, engaging environments for their children’s and youth ministries. Generally speaking, churches can expect an an average increase of 20 to 25 percent in kids’ attendance after creating intentional environments.
Some churches have even reported doubling their children’s’ attendance in a single year as a direct result of making kids feel welcomed and wanted.
Be Over-the-Top In Making Kids A Priority
Sure, churches love kids, but churches that put a priority on kids ministry make it clear that kids are a high priority. From the standpoint of first-time visitors, a visual statement says volumes and adds inestimable credibility to the ministry. “You never get a second chance to make a great first impression.”
Making kids a priority takes on a lot of little touches as well as some big statements. In whatever way you can, make it obvious to families which areas are made for the kids. From bold and fun signage, grand entrances, children’s hallways to efficient, organized and secure check-in areas, the key is to make the statement that kids are not just welcomed and safe; they’re invited to belong.
Even in shared spaces, make the decision to focus on the kids first. When adults share classroom space near kids, let the adults know how making the kids the first priority is how the church will be sustained with growth for the next generation.
It’s a blessing to put others first, and there’s no greater future than our young ones!
When kids areas have a distinct style and flair, the kids will take ownership of their space. This not only makes it a destination they want to come to, they’ll want to bring their friends, too. Multi-use kids spaces are also destination outside of weekend services, as Mother’s Day Out programs, preschool, daycare, Bible studies and more ministries need childcare space.
If adults share a space with the kids, train the adults the privilege of being in a church where the growth demands sharing space with kids - in the kids’ area! Destinations are more than just fun names for meeting rooms and classrooms; they are part of an intentional decision to carry the theme across the entire area.
Quite often, themed entrances, hallways, large group rooms and even classrooms share a common theme and branding that simply “ages” with the kids, while continuing the theme with unique areas (destinations) for each age group. Carrying a theme through an area, or even multiple areas, gives kids a sense of ownership of their space and also excites them to “move up” with each age group. These consistently themed destinations can be be muraling, text treatments and even color specific.
Be A Third Place For Your Community
We met with a church pastor who told us that they were so involved with their community and had opened their doors (literally) every day for moms, business people and groups to come and use their facility. He said “if we couldn’t afford to keep the doors open, we’re pretty sure our community would pay to keep us open.” That’s a pretty strong statement! Part of what makes this church and others like it so vital to their community is opening up their space, or portions of their space, for people to come and meet, work or relax.
With open seating areas, lots of open space and free, secured Wi-Fi, churches can become a natural third place for families to meet. One of the best ways to be a third place is to create community space that includes play areas for kids. From soft, sculpted foam in a fun, safely enclosed space with colorful rubberized flooring for toddlers to soft contained climbing play places for grade-schoolers to immersive game areas for older kids, creating environments that are built for and themed to fit kids of each age group is a great way to make your church a third place.
Contributed from the Worlds of Wow! Team who’s passion is to help churches become more effective in engaging kids,
touching families and reaching communities for Christ! You can visit their website (worldsofwow.com).