As I travel to churches to minister, I have noticed a trend that is exciting. It’s one of the best ways to get families to visit your church.
What is it?
It’s installing an indoor playground area in your church.
I have personally seen this work. In South Florida, where I served as a children’s pastor, it gets very hot during the summer months. So hot that moms don’t want to expose their children to the heat. We installed an air conditioned, indoor playground and then opened it during the week for kids and their families to come and play. Two days a week we had anywhere from 50 to 100 people come and participate. Many of them had never walked into the doors of our church before. The opportunity to get out of the hot sun and let their kids play in an air conditioned area was a big draw.
Halfway through the playground time, we would stop and have a short devotional where we shared the Gospel. We saw people come to Christ through this and we reached many families who started attending our services as a result.
Think about it. When you do this, you give the families attending your church a great tool to use to invite their unchurched family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Families are looking for places for their children to play indoors during the summer and winter months. When you encourage the families in your church to invite people to come play with their kids at the playground, you will see great results.
McDonald’s knows this. Chuck E. Cheese knows this. Chick-fil-A knows this. Malls know this.
Recently I was with a church in Canada. Obviously, it gets very cold there during the winter months. They installed an indoor playground and now they have lots of families coming to the church during the week. They have seen many families come to the church for the playground and through it are reached and now attend the church.
Another church I visited a few weeks ago had installed an indoor playground. There were dozens of families there using the playground. They had also installed a coffee bar and many parents were having coffee. The children’s pastor told me they had reached lots of families through the playground.
Yes, you will have an upfront expense with purchasing the playground, but trust me, it will pay for itself many times over through the families you reach.
And of course, you can also have the playground open on weekends before and after your church services. On the average, families will stick around an extra 15-30 minutes after the service so their children can play on the playground. During this time, you can mingle with families and get to know them.
An indoor playground will get kids excited about coming to church. I have literally seen parents have to drag their children away from the playground when the time was up. Are parents telling you they have to drag their kids to church? Invest in a playground and you’ll see kids dragging their parents to church.
Your turn. What are your thoughts about indoor playgrounds at church? Share your thoughts and ideas below.
This article originally appeared here.