Is Your Children’s Ministry Attendance Stuck?

Children's ministry
Has the attendance in your children's ministry plateaued? (Lighstock )

Many children’s ministries find their attendance has plateaued or is declining. The children’s ministry where I serve as director has plateaued twice, and on both occasions it has been due to lack of space.

Either the adult service was full or the preschool area was full. Once you’re 85 percent full, you’re done growing until you make a change.

Both times we plateaued, we made a change that put us back on a growth path. Here’s what we did.

We started one or more additional services.  As soon as we did that, we started growing again.

Here’s some reasons why starting a new service can put you back on a growth path:

1. It allows you to create more space without having to build space. As stated above, once you’re 85 percent full, you’re going to plateau. You can find out at what percentage you are by comparing your room capacity to how many kids are attending on average.

Here’s an example: If your rooms have a capacity to hold 100 kids and you’re averaging 85 or more kids, then you’ve hit a growth obstacle. You’ve got to create more space.

2. People want options. What do you look at closely when you’re going to a movie? The times it’s showing. The more options the better, right? A movie that has showings throughout the day is going to have a lot more people attend than a movie that only offers one or two viewing opportunities.

The same applies to your children’s ministry. The more options you offer, the more people you will reach.

3. It creates fresh momentum. Starting a new service forces you to recruit new volunteers, enlist families to shift to the new service and creatively communicate. All of this can create fresh momentum and excitement.

4. It catches God’s attention. God is not willing that any should perish. He wants every single boy, girl, mom and dad in your community to have a relationship with Him.

You see, the deeper issue is not how many people are attending your children’s ministry. It’s how many are not attending. You are surrounded by people who don’t attend church anywhere. You are surrounded by people who don’t know Jesus. That’s the number that should keep you up at night. That’s the reason why you’ve got to create more space and give people more options.

If your children’s ministry has plateaued, it’s a great problem to have. But it’s not a problem you want to live with. A new service may be just what you need.

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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