What’s difficult in this process is that the “gaps” vary. In other words, some kids are brought to church every week by faithful parents who follow and love Jesus. For them, the gap is small.
Other parents, with good intentions, bring their kids to church hoping that some leader will “speak truth” to them, while those same parents don’t even know the truth themselves. That gap is slightly bigger.
Other kids just show up without their families. Still, another group of kids, never walk in our doors, because they don’t even have a slight connection with a church. That’s a big gap.
With all these varying gap sizes, consider creating “segments” of your mission to close the gap. Look at yourself as a “gap-filler.” Furthermore, look for volunteers and leaders in your church who are better suited to fill those specific gaps. Some will be better at teaching a class. Some will be better at leading outreach events. Some will be great at connecting with other parents and leaders.
You’ll find that you program events, weekends, Wednesday, and summers differently when you consider each of the following gap segments.
- Regular-attending kids whose parents are leading the way spiritually.
- Fairly-consistent attenders whose parents are not very consistent in their own faith.
- Kids who show up, but have little to no spiritual direction at home.
- Kids who don’t show up.
It’s not four missions, just one — with a different approach for each that we are commissioned to fill.
THANK YOU for standing in the gap!
Jeffrey Reed serves as the Director of Kids Ministry for LifeWay. He came to LifeWay with a wide variety of ministry experiences including worship leader, director of children’s ministry, and executive leadership in several growing congregations. Jeffrey’s posts will give your heart and brain a workout, just like the fitness Boot Camp he leads in the mornings for LifeWay employees. Jeffrey and his wife Katherine have four kids.