We wring our hands and bemoan the rise of kid sports and the losses in our Sunday schools. Sunday is no longer sacrosanct and reserved for “Church Use Only.” Today’s families have choices to make and to be fair, they take their choice-making pretty seriously.

It turns out, parents have their kids participating in Sunday sports because they believe that the value their children get out of sports outweighs the value they get from church activities … that should tell us everything we need to know about how to compete (and we ARE competing). 

Perceived values from sports: exercise, sportsmanship, commitment, repetition and practice, teamwork, and leadership.

Perceived values from church: Bible stories, coloring sheets, sit still and be quiet, honor meaningless traditions, be “good,” pie-in-the-sky by-and-by promises of “faith.” 

And we wonder why the parents choose to enroll their kids in sports … 

If we’re going to compete, we’re going to have to change parents’ perspectives. Hint: If you’re still using coloring sheets and flannel boards, the parents’ perceptions might be right on.

To change their perspectives, we need to start by looking seriously at our curriculum, our delivery system, and our mission/vision for the children’s ministry.