With kids going back to school, now is a great time to think about reaching kids with the gospel of Christ by attracting them to your children’s ministry. I have long believed that attracting young families can be crucial to your church’s growth. I even dedicated a chapter of my new book Church Turnaround A to Z, to K-Kids are key to church growth.
In that chapter, one of the things I recommended is reading,“If Disney Ran Your Children’s Ministry.” Dale Hudson, Bruce Berry, and Justyn Smith describe in detail how to make the environment of your Children’s Ministry align with what Walt Disney conceived to make the family friendly Disney theme parks, ‘The happiest place on earth.’ I can remember as a child myself watching on our black and white TV the “Wonderful World of Disney”. Oh, how I wanted to join my new friend Uncle Walt, as he took me and millions of other kids on what felt like a personalized tour of Disneyland.
I still agree that the experience a young person has at church should be a happy one but trying to maintain that Disney magic week after week is problematic. Constantly entertaining kids with Disney like pizazz is unrealistic. But you still can decorate with all the colors, insist on the cleanliness and create a safe, dynamic, and life-giving environment through music, and multimedia. Children will love to come and experience Jesus, tell their parents and friends and help you make Sundays the best day of the week for the children in your city!
I have recently been thinking about another classic children’s television show that can also serve as an excellent example for a thriving kid’s ministry. Mr. Rogers. Fred Roger’s world was a simple neighborhood in contrast to Walt Disney’s separate spectacular lands that aroused your senses to explore adventure, the frontier, fantasies, and flights into tomorrow. Simply put, Disney’s vision was for children to escape reality, Roger’s was to intimately engage with it. Walt sought to wow kids; Fred strived to empower them.
Your children’s ministry can incorporate both. Your children’s church can entertain your kids and at the same time, love them and listen to them. Your children’s ministry can attract kids with the hoopla of a Main street parade and then through Biblical stories and small group interaction, disciple these kids as loving members of God’s kingdom.
For a deeper look at this issue, I have written a chapter about it in my latest book,
You will find “Church Turnaround A to Z” on Amazon books.