How to Measure Kid’s Life Change Not Just Attendance
I don’t think that any of us as Kid’s leaders go into ministry thinking that the number of kids in our ministry is the only (or even most) important thing to measure.
Yet numbers are often the most rewarded measurement.
This creates a disconnect, we know numbers aren’t the only important measurement (“other things are just as important”), but our actions portray the opposite (“we need to get more kids attending”).
Don’t get me wrong, numbers are important, but not in and of themselves.
You can gather a big crowd without any life change happening.
I’m guessing you probably have the whole attendance thing down, so this post is focused on measuring life change.
We base our measurements of life change off North Point Church’s 5 aspects of disciple making: Practical Teaching, Personal Ministry, Private Discipleship, Pivotal Circumstances, and Providential Relationships.
Practical Teaching is hearing and learning how to apply biblical principles to our lives.
Personal ministry is showing God’s love to others through evangelism and volunteering.
Private discipleship is spending personal time with God in his word and prayer.
Pivotal circumstances are moments in our lives that have made a profound impact on faith.
Providential relationships are people in our lives who have come alongside us and helped us in our spiritual journey.
Here’s how we measure each aspect:
Measure Practical Teaching
This is where attendance meets life change because Sundays are the main time that practical teaching happens at our church.
We use 3 measurements:
1) What is the average number of individuals who attended at least once each month (with less frequent attendance, we’ve found that measuring monthly rather than weekly is most helpful).
Note: If a child attends 4 Sundays, we still count them 1 time, so if the average attendance/month is 50 that means that 50 different kids attended 1+ times that month.
2) What is the average attendance at our monthly Family Experience (we have a service the 1st Sunday of every month for parents and kids to attend together).
3) What is the percentage of parents opening our Parent Resource email (you can learn more about the email here: Taking Sunday into the Week: Creating Great Digital Content for Your Families (with Templates)) at least 1x in the past month (Kind of like virtual butts in seats).
Measure Personal Ministry
Every month we give families an idea and an item to help them show God’s love to another family (This past month we gave each family a $5 DQ gift card, and challenged them to go out for ice cream with a family that didn’t attend church).
We measure how many families are participating by asking kids in Small Groups if their family have done it.
Measure Private Discipleship
We have 1 measurement: how many family devotionals are being done each week.
We measure this by asking the kids in Small Groups who did their family devotional each week.
Measure Pivotal Circumstances
We have 3 measurements for this:
1) God speaking: In every service we have 30 seconds of silence for the kids to pause and listen for God’s voice.
We measure this by asking the kids in Small Group if God talked to them.
2) Salvations: In every service during the 30 seconds of silence, we also give an invitation for kids to start following Jesus.
We measure this by asking the kids in Small Group if anyone started following Jesus.
3) Camp: There’s just something about camp settings where kids seem to have pivotal moments with God.
We measure this by looking at how many kids attended our camps (duh).
Measure Providential Relationships
We have 2 measurements:
1) Family Small Group Attendance: we measure this by looking at how many families are involved in a Family Small Group.
2) Lunch Meetups: after our Family Experience every month we tell families a restaurant we’re gonna be at after service and invite them to come and hangout.
We measure this by counting how many families come each month.
And that’s how we measure, not just people in seats, but whether or not life change is happening among families.
It’s important to note that these measurements aren’t going to give you a quick idea of how you’re doing; you’re going to need to compare measurements year over year to really get an idea of where you’re doing well and where you need to get better.
Also, the measurements may be completely different for your church, so really my biggest challenge to you is to figure out how you can measure life change in your ministry and not just attendance.
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