July 24, 2013

Measuring Church Health: How many kids will attend?

kids numbers

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Over the last several years, our consulting team has had the opportunity to work with churches all over the country. In doing so, we’ve collected data from most of those churches. That’s helpful because it allows us to begin establishing benchmarks to measure church health.

Early next year, we’re going to be releasing a new eBook that will look at measuring church health. Without giving everything away, I’m going to be sharing some of the data in posts over the next several weeks.

Today we’ll begin with looking at how many kids attend church. Again, this is a reflection of the churches we’ve worked with through the years. It includes churches of all shapes and sizes. Take a look at the graphic below.

percentage of kids

As you can see, the average range for kids attendance is between 19 and 23 percent of total attendance. In other words, for every four adults and students that attend weekend services, the typical church has one child between the ages of birth and fifth grade.

Based on what we’re learning, there are a number of factors that impact engagement with kids. If your percentage is below average, here are some questions you may want to ask to determine what’s driving your numbers:

  • Does the number of kids in our congregation reflect the demographics of the community we’re trying to reach?
  • Do we have an intentional strategy for children’s ministry programming?
  • Does the quality of our children’s ministry space reflect a commitment to reaching kids?
  • Does our overall vision include reaching young families?
  • Do our adult worship services have programming and teaching that reaches young adults?

In other words if your children’s numbers are low, you can’t just blame the children’s ministry director. Leadership is only one factor that contributes to the engagement of kids in the church.

Does that percentage surprise you? Are you seeing similar numbers in your church? What are some other factors that you see driving the percentage of kids either up or down? Share your thoughts by joining the conversation in the comments.

Stay tuned. Next time we’ll look at student attendance.

Need some help connecting your giving strategy to your mission and vision? Let’s talk. You can’t accomplish vision without a strategy to get there.

Photo Credit: © 2006-2013 Pink Sherbet Photography via Compfight cc


  • Does this reflect only children attending on the weekend or also midweek programming? We reach different kids midweek.

    • Hi Sheila, To calculate the percentage, we use average weekly attendance from weekend services. Just a note that this article is from 2013 so numbers may be outdated!


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