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Is your church's children's ministry missing the mark with some kids? (iStock photo)

Do you ever wonder why some children who grew up in church don’t want to have anything to do with it anymore? Do you ever wonder why the family unit as a whole in your community has been destroyed?

Could it be that the children’s ministry in their church has failed them? Obviously, that’s not the case with all children and families that have gone astray. However, an effective children’s ministry will go a long way in “training up your children in the way they should go.”

Here are 20 devastating effects of ineffective children’s ministry:  

  1. Families in the community remain broken and lost.
  2. Kids grow up and walk away from church.
  3. Dead religion replaces a life-giving relationship.
  4. People become spiritually obese instead of conduits of God's love.
  5. The focus of the ministry turns inward.
  6. The baptistry is dry.
  7. Very few guests walk through the doors, and when they do, they don't return.
  8. People spend their time at church arguing over petty things that have no bearing on eternity.
  9. Kids think church is a boring, irrelevant place.
  10. Scripture information is taught without life application.
  11. Kids know about Jesus but don’t know Jesus.
  12. The congregation grows more predominately gray each year.
  13. Volunteering becomes a duty to be endured instead of an opportunity to impact the next generation.
  14. Parents have to make their kids come to church with them.
  15. Kids see the Bible as a rule book instead of a love letter.
  16. Parents aren't equipped to be the primary spiritual leaders of their children.
  17. Programs and events that have run their course and are no longer fruitful are perpetuated.
  18. Children's ministry becomes known as childcare instead of one of the most important ministries in the church.
  19. The children's ministry becomes a silo and sees other ministries as "competition" for resources and volunteers.
  20. A busy but unproductive calendar is maintained.

Dale Hudson has served in children and family ministry for over 24 years. He is the director of children’s ministries at Christ Fellowship Church in Palm Beach, Fla. He was recently named one of the top 20 influencers in children’s ministry. He is the co-author of four ministry books, including Turbocharged: 100 Simple Secrets to Successful Children’s Ministry. Visit Dale at

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