Your preschool ministry is a barometer of the health of your church. A healthy church is reaching young families.
I am thankful for our senior citizens. I personally look to them for wisdom, insight, and encouragement. Our churches should be ministering to senior citizens as well. A healthy church will reach all generations. But if your church is primarily gray, then the barometer indicates things are not healthy.
In Florida, we have a lot of senior citizens…especially in the winter months. The snow birds migrate down for the warm winters. The semi-trucks full of cars start arriving. They are the cars of the snowbirds. That’s when you start seeing the silver alerts on roadway signs. A silver alert means a senior citizen driver who is causing major safety issues in traffic is on the road. The make and model of the car flashes on the sign.
Look around your church. Is there a silver alert? Is all you see gray hair? Are there a good percentage of young families with preschoolers? How do you increase the health?
Be willing to change.
All across our country there are small churches made up of a few older families who are unwilling to change. They are not reaching young families because they are determined to keep a church culture from the 1960’s. I have served in churches that were full of young families. I have had conversations with some of the older members. How did they adjust to the loud music? How did they handle the change over the years? I always got the same response. “It’s not about us. It’s about reaching the next generation of families.” Wow! No wonder their churches were healthy and full of preschool families.
The Senior Pastor and Leadership must be committed to reaching young families. Everything rises and falls on leadership. They must be willing to appeal to young families. The top two reasons people pick a church are: How friendly are you? What do you have to offer my kids?
The church must make preschool ministry a top priority. Finances, resources, and staffing must walk this talk.
Church greeters and ushers should include preschool parents. When preschool parents walk in the doors of your church, who are they greeted by? Are any of them people their own age?
Sit down with your team and rate the health of your church based on the percentage of preschool families that attend. What does the barometer say? Do you need to formulate an action plan to increase the health?