Knowing who you’re trying to target is important if you want what you’re doing to be successful. You might be thinking, “That’s easy! I’m a Children’s Pastor so my target audience is kids.” You’d probably say something like that if you are a youth pastor, only with students.
While that’s technically true, not every kid or student are exactly the same. Treating kids like they don’t will only hurt them and your programming.
Over the years I’ve noticed that there’s about 4 types of kids in ministry. Doesn’t matter if you’re in California or Florida. If you have a Children’s Ministry your kids will fall into one of these 4 groups:
- Not Coming
So how can we program with these 4 types of kids in mind? Here are a few ideas:
1. Not Coming
These are the kids who are, quite simply, not coming to your church. They may go to another church but most kids in your community who fall under this category probably aren’t going to any church. So to engage them you’ll want to equip the families who are coming with tips on how to invest and invite into the people in their world who aren’t coming.
Sometimes a program or event helps, like a Halloween Party or an all-nighter or something like that. But most of the time it’s through great relationships with people who are coming to your church that encourages people who aren’t coming to check it out.
These kids are showing up to your programs regularly but that’s about it. They haven’t necessarily placed their faith in Christ, but they’re coming (whether mom and dad are making them or not)
With kids who are just coming you want to get them connected to a leader and group of kids who will know and love them (i.e, a small group). There they’ll be cared for, build great friendships, get their questions answered, and (hopefully) place their faith in Christ and get connected to your church.
Connected kids have a relationship with Christ and other Christians who are coming to church. They’re in a small group, know, and are known by people in your church.
For connected kids you want to help them deepen their faith. Things like baptism, having a quiet time, serving in a ministry, etc. are steps you want to help them take so they’ll become committed to Christ.
Committed kids are serving others and growing in their faith. Their next step is to share their faith with kids they know who aren’t coming so they’ll start coming, get connected, become committed, and help someone they know who isn’t coming to do the same.
Encouragement from their parents and leaders along the way with tools like this can be instrumental in helping committed kids take this next step.
Who are the different types of kids in your ministry? How can you help them grow in their relationship with Christ?