It’s that time of year. The trees are budding; the flowers are blooming; and the grass is beginning to grow. Unfortunately, not everything is growing. This is the time when many ministries begin to shrink. Sports, family outings, and increased homework often drive families away from church as winter turns to spring. Here are a few ways to try to break the trend that plagues most churches.
1. Make sure your ministries are relevant and families know that. In the winter, there are fewer things to compete with your ministries. When there are more options competing for their time, families will decide which events are more important. If people don’t see value in your ministry, they will find something else they do believe has value.
2. Accommodate when possible. That may mean adjusting your ministries by making them shorter, moving them, or replacing them. For example, you could offer homework support, sports clinics, or family events.
3. Use new activities as a way to minister to families. This is an important time to stay connected to those families who choose other activities instead of the ministries at your church. Take time to visit those ballgames, school events, and other activities. Call, email, or text families who miss church because of an outing. Don’t be negative about it. Ask them about the outing; tell them they were missed; and give them a good reason to join you next time. Have you found a way to curb the springtime descent? Share it below.
Dathan Hale serves as a content editor for Lifeway Kids Ministry. Dathan has more than a decade of experience as a children’s pastor and is currently on the Kids Ministry Team at Thompson Station Church, Thompson Station, TN. Dathan and his wife Sarah have two kids.