Many churches do not realize how critical the Children’s Ministry is. When kids are not enjoying church, parents will not come. If you cannot engage people’s children, they will also not be as likely to stay. So, as you can imagine, it is extremely important to teach your Sunday School lessons in an exciting and engaging way. When kids are engaged, they’ll be excited about coming back week after week. If you’re wondering about your own ministry, here are 7 signs your Sunday School lesson isn’t engaging enough:
- Kids don’t want to come
When you see kids sitting with their parents in the adult service or fighting with their parents before going into class to avoid your Sunday School. That’s a sign that things aren’t engaging enough. Their preference to sit with their parents is a big sign that they don’t enjoy the Kid’s Ministry. If kids are begging to stay out of class, it might be time to change some things! If you see a pattern of kids avoiding Sunday school, you may want to start asking those specific kids and parents for feedback. Ask questions like “what do you not like about Sunday School?” or “What would make you want to come to Sunday school?”. Take this as an opportunity to learn from the kids that don’t want to attend Sunday School and come up with ideas on how to make things more engaging.
- There is a lot of talking in class
Talking can be a sign that kids are having fun, but not always. When they are talking to each other more than they are engaging in the lesson, they likely don’t care about what’s going on. When kids are interested in the lesson, they will be focused and not seen to talk to others. The only kind of talking you really want to see during your Sunday School lesson is lots of questions from the kids. When there are questions, that means you’ve turned on their curiosity.
- There is no enough talking after class
While talking in Sunday School can be a sign that kids are not interested in your lesson, a lack of talking after class can be a bad sign as well. When they aren’t talking about the lesson to each other or their parents after your class is over, they probably weren’t engaged. Also, it’s extremely alarming if you have to work hard to pull information out of them about what they learned that day. It is a great sign when a kid can come out of your Kid’s Ministry talking about all of the things that they saw, heard, and learned that day! As we said in the last point, you want to get kids to start asking questions. That is a sign that they are learning and want to learn more.
- Lack of volunteers
Just like kids not attending your Sunday School is a bad sign, it’s also not great to see a lack of volunteers as well. Do adults want to engage in what you’re doing? If they don’t, it might mean
that things aren’t engaging enough. Every Kid’s Ministry will need more volunteers. This is a global struggle for this area of the church, but having a lesson that isn’t engaging will push volunteers away. Just like a disengaging Sunday school lesson will push away volunteers, an engaging Sunday school lesson will attract new volunteers that are willing to give their time to something they believe in.
- You don’t have new kids or guests
Your kids program can be a big drawing factor for new families and guests to the church. Where there is a good Sunday School, people will want to bring their kids. If it’s not engaging, families will opt to go somewhere with a better opportunity for their kids. It can be really important to track your ministry attendance numbers (both kids and volunteers). That way, you can get a big picture view of any growth or lack thereof in the ministry. Engaging kids' lessons will draw in new kids and new families. Parents and kids will tell their friends and families about engaging kids lessons. If your kids ministry is not growing, you need to be honest about where you are and where you need to be in order to attract and retain new guests.
- Teaching Style and Voices
We cannot overlook the fact that the lesson itself is part of the process, but the teacher can make a massive difference as well. If the person teaching is reading off of notes, not making eye contact with the kids, and not teaching in an engaging way, you’re going to have issues. Not only can a teacher make or break things, but also a lack of teaching variety can, too. You want to have more than just one voice engaging the kids in the lesson. The more voices, expressions, and teaching styles that can be introduced, the better. Some practical ideas would be to have more than one teach each week or bring in a puppet or character of some kind.
- You’re lacking creative elements and variety
As we covered in the last point, variety is absolutely critical when teaching kids. You cannot teach in the same monotone voice and expect them to be engaged. Do you get loud? Quiet? Is there excitement in your voice? Do they laugh? Is there joy? If you are not changing the atmosphere frequently, you will lose them. In addition, you also want lots of variety of activities and elements to your lesson. Is there a game? An object lesson? A video? Variety elements are critical to keeping kids engaged in your Sunday School lesson. These elements will also make it more memorable and get kids talking which helps with points #3 and #5.
Have any of these things resonated with you? Are you already thinking about changes that can be made to your weekly lesson? That’s great! Even the greatest Kids Ministries can make changes to make their lessons more engaging. Remember, when kids are excited, parents will be too. This will bring growth and momentum to the entire church!