Children’s and Youth Ministries by Vanessa Jerome

HCSF is committed to supporting all forms of children’s and youth ministries including church-based Sunday school, children’s and youth groups, as well as outreach ministries, such as street and campus ministries

In the current religious climate in the US, where record numbers of young adults are disengaging from the Christian faith, effective children’s and youth ministries are proving to be more important than ever before.

Research is overflowing with statistics that indicate the powerful impact that children’s and youth ministries can have on the overall growth of Christianity:

  • A substantial majority of the people who come to faith in Jesus do so before reaching their 18th birthday (Barna, 2004)
  • Those who are active in Christian ministry as children are much more likely to stay active Christians as adults (Barna, 2009)
  • Attracting children to learn about the Love of God will have 8 times the impact of attracting the same number of adults (Barna, 2009)

The key to achieving positive impact lies in the effectiveness of these ministries.

In attempting to understand how children’s and youth ministries can be most effective, HCSF researched current trends and best practices and discovered the following:

  • There has been significant growth in the attendance of children’s and youth ministries in non-denominational and gospel-centered churches (mirroring the overall growth trend in these churches)
  • The fastest growing children’s ministries in the US, share common approaches and practices such as: interactive lessons; prioritization by senior Pastor; a focus on the Gospel, God as relational as opposed to conceptual, and modification of curriculums to suit cultural context
  • The fastest growing Youth Ministries tend to focus on meeting teens where they are, accepting them for who they are, and building long term authentic relationships

Based on our findings, HCSF is committed to supporting the enhancement and development of programs that use current best practices, effectively meeting children and youth where they are, helping them to connect to Christ, grow in their faith and ultimately shape the future of the Christian Church.