Church Health Check-Up: Kids & Students

As the Church in America gets knee-deep into this Fall ministry season, are you getting healthier? What does health look like? I have found that no single number will tell you your health, but monitoring it by setting a barometer leads to health. It’s simple. Set a metric. When it surpasses, ask “Why?” and “How is this affecting us?” And when it dips, do the same.

I want to begin to look at what I’ve learned are healthy metrics for our church as we launched and have grown through our first 5 years. And today, I want to focus on Kids & Students' attendance ratios.

Percentage of Kids (Baby-5th Grade) in Attendance:

20%

To figure this out, simply take your total church attendance number (including kids) and divide that by the number of kids baby-5th Grade in attendance. What do you end up with?

Percentage of Students (6th-12th Grade) in Attendance:

10%

To figure this out simply take your total church attendance number (including students) and divide that by the number of students 6th-12th grade in attendance. What do you end up with?

Things to consider when checking your health against these metrics:

  • Don’t immediately jump down the throat of the ministry director if the number is too low
  • Has the church’s overall strategy supported these ratios?
  • Does the demographic you are reaching reflect these ratios?

In our case:

Mission Church is a suburban church in a metropolitan area. The average age of our leadership is 35, therefore we should target and attract young families. Only 10% of churches have more than 30% kids, and our goal isn’t to get there. For us, 20% is healthy. We value the Baby Boomer (52-70 in 2016) generation in our church. If we climbed towards 30%, that older generation is probably getting squeezed out. For Students, you will rarely launch at 10%. Instead, you will grow into it. This metric ensures that your Generation Xers are present and that your kids ministry is effectively bridging kids into their next phase as a student.

So when it comes to kids & students, where do you stand? How is it affecting your church?