Taking the Pulse of Ministry with Children, Youth & Families

Sarah Holmes

Written by Sarah Holmes
on 21st May 2024

"Listening to younger generations....91% of family workers said their church does not include families in decisions about ministry with children & youth; 89% of children's workers said that children were not included in decisions and 60% of youth workers said youth were not included in decisions."
"Volunteers feeling valued ...50% of volunteers involved in children's ministry did not feel valued by their church; 33% of those involved in 11-16s ministry did not feel valued; and 64% of family workers did not feel valued by their church."

A staggering statistic has emerged from the national Taking the pulse of ministry survey run by the CYM Institute of Children, Youth and Mission...91% of church-based family workers who responded to our survey said that their church does not include families in decisions about ministry with youth and children. Do you agree? The online survey is open until 31st May...so there's still time to share your views and experiences.

In a time when families are attending church less and less, it's so important that we listen to them and hear their needs - how can the church best support the spiritual lives of parents and their children. This survey has already heard from almost 2,000 people, 28% of which are parents. We are excited to gather the views of these parents and share them with churches so that they can enhance ministries for younger generations. Interestingly, we've only had 29 responses from grandparents, which is not surprising as often grandparents are not explicitly mentioned in churches as being part of the team supporting the faith of their grandchildren - so again we want to hear from grandparents particularly about what will help them to be more equipped and empowered to support their grandchild's faith.

Or perhaps, looking back you recall in your own childhood things in church which helped or hindered your faith. It would be so helpful if you can share these insights with us. We've already heard from over 200 people who grew up connected with church activities and they have told us countless stories of the church being a place of refuge and support for them throughout some of their life challenges - we'd love to hear more of these impacts.....this will be so encouraging and inspiring for current children/youth ministry teams to hear....In our survey, 50% of children's ministry volunteers said that they did not feel valued by their church. So if we can collate and present anonymised data to show the impact that these ministries have, this will be so encouraging to teams who work hard week after week in the churches up and down the country.

'This is a pivotal time for the UK church - decreasing attendance from younger generations, low volunteer numbers and limited funding...BUT there are many opportunities for churches to continue in their mission amongst families....this survey will help to illuminate these opportunities and enable churches to be more strategic and focussed in their activity.' Dr Sarah Holmes, the CYM Institute of Children, Youth and Mission.

We'd love for you to take part in our online survey to help us build up a fuller picture of what different stakeholders think about ministry amongst youth, children and families....Church leaders or those involved in any aspect of ministry - volunteer or paid, Christian parents and grandparents, anyone who grew up in the church and even those who are no longer involved in these ministries…..We want to hear about your views and experiences as part of CYM’s research: Taking the pulse of ministry amongst children, youth and families! 

Please spend 4mins completing our online survey to share your views. Everyone who participates has the opportunity to win a £50 Amazon voucher.

Also, we're holding an in person event in Bradford to share the research findings on 26th June...if you'd like to come along please get in touch with Sarah Holmes.

Read more...

Come celebrate with us!

Come celebrate with us!

Are you interested in what is effective in children's ministry? Are you fascinated by what others are doing amongst families and keen to learn from them? Do you want to know what good practice is happening?

Sarah Holmes - Director of Research

12th June 2024

Why bother?

Why bother?

Why bother?! …. Does anyone care about ministry amongst kids, youth and families? Is anyone doing it? What are they doing? Does it make any difference???? And why is there not more investment in these ministries from the wider church?

Sarah Holmes - Director of Research

26th March 2024

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Chris Mason - Marketing Executive

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