Monday, September 11, 2023

What Are You Doing About It?

I have written about Barna's study which shows Gen Z is turning away from their faith to atheism at double the rate of any previous generation - and Barna expects it to be triple the rate by 2030 - just over six years away. You are likely seeing this in your church as older children, teens, young adults, and young families stop coming to church. You are likely hearing it from some grandparents - but not all as there is a large sense of shame and failure a grandparent experiences when their grown children/ grandchildren turn away from the faith. So, what are you doing about this?

Are you, "ignoring the problem" and hoping it will change on its own? Are you sticking with what you are doing because you are comfortable with what you are doing and you think what you are doing is "great"? 

Or, are you seriously evaluating what you are doing and where you are able to make important changes which will truly make a difference? So, how do you do this? What should you be seriously evaluating? What important changes are you able to make? Consider the following . . .

  • Look at your curriculum. Does it teach the "whys" - why we are able to believe God is real, the Bible is true, God is good, and God and science really DO go together? If your curriculum is not doing this, then find one which does. When the children in our ministries do not know the "whys", they will not be able to answer those who ask them why they believe and they are more likely to turn away from their faith. Teaching the "whys" is an absolutely essential part of what we need to do in our Children's Ministries - and yet few churches do this and other than Deeper In for Children and Anchored there are no curriculum resources which are designed for this. 
  • Again, look at your curriculum. Does it teach in ways which engage children, capture their attention, get them to open real Bibles, and help them understand not only who the Bible people are, but what it means, and how it makes a difference in their lives for them to know these things. We must do more than just teach rote facts, people, history, etc. so it matters what curriculum we use.
  • Connect with grandparents. Do you do this? Do you even know which grandparents are bringing children to your ministry - or used to bring them? Have you asked why the children no longer are coming if they are not? Be ready to encourage these grandparents - they need it if the ones they love have turned away from their faith.
  • Talk with the grandparents about how you are able to support them and connect with their grandchildren in ways which matter.
  • Commit to follow up with the grandchildren who only attend IF they want to do so. If they are not there on a Sunday and Wednesday, connect with them to let them know they were missed and they matter. Do this every week. Yes, it takes time, but these children are worth the time it takes.
  • Be certain you offer appealing opportunities for children and families to connect, learn, and yes, have fun - all year, but especially in the summer. If your ministry is little more than park playdates and Bible studies, you are not likely to find children who attend only IF they want to do so, will want to do so. Make your ministry, and especially the summers, amazing!
These are just a few things for you to begin to consider. Please know, the children who have turned away from their faith, or whose parents have turned away from their faith, do matter. Does your Children's Ministry actually act as if you believe this?

No comments:

Post a Comment