Monday, April 15, 2019

Do You "Roll Up the Sidewalks" or "Kick into High Gear"?

As your school-year Children's Ministry begins to wind down, what is your plan for the summer? Will you basically, "roll up the sidewalks" and offer little if any opportunities for children at your church? I know of churches where they do this. They no longer offer a mid-week opportunity, they do not hold Sunday school or Children's Church, they offer "special" events, but only one time a month in the Summer and many are even ending their Vacation Bible School. 

I know of other churches where they look at the Summer as the perfect opportunity to, "kick it into high gear" and they offer Terrific Tuesdays and Thursdays where children are engaged in fun activities and meaningful learning - every Tuesday and Thursday all Summer long. Where they run their VBS on Sunday mornings and inject a high level of "fun" into their Sunday morning Bible learning - and lots of Bible learning takes place as well. I know of churches which engage children in opportunities to serve throughout the Summer - where they absolutely do not, "roll up their sidewalks", because they see these three months as the perfect opportunity to engage children and families as they do not go to school during the Summer and both children and parents/grandparents are looking for opportunities to, "do something".

What is your church like? Do you "roll up your sidewalks" or "kick it into high gear"?

If you are the first, think about the following. If your church offers little, if any, opportunities for children, it is likely the children will not want to go to church. Parents may make the children go - but the more children protest, the less likely tired parents are to make them go and before long, the entire family stays home. If this becomes a habit over the Summer, it may be difficult to get back into the habit of attending when Fall arrives - you may lose this family. If the parents decide your church does not offer meaningful opportunities for their children, and they want to go to church, they may look for a new church which will engage their children - and you may lose this family. If the children attend with grandparents, they are very likely to not force their grandchildren to attend - it may be the only reason they are able to take the grandchildren with them if they want to go, so they are not able to force them to do so. In this instance you may lose the children, the grandparents and the opportunity to be used in some way to help draw back the parents.

The over-riding theme to this is, if you do not engage children, so they want to be part of what you are doing, you are likely to lose the children and the people who are bringing them. This is a very high price to pay.

So pray - before you do anything and get others to pray with you. It is too easy to pray and decide God is telling you to do what you already decided to do. Get others to pray with you and listen to what they sense before sharing your opinions. Look for ways to implement an engaging line-up of Summer opportunities. Do NOT, "roll up your sidewalks." Do the work of recruiting - casting vision and helping your volunteers see the "why" of offering engaging and effective ministry opportunities throughout the summer.

It all matters.

No comments:

Post a Comment