60 000 children...

How are we doing when it comes to getting to know the children in our local communities?

Our research found 60,000 across New Zealand who are involved in activities run in their community by the local church. 40,000 of these children were involved in one-off activities like Light Parties or maybe holiday programmes. The other 20,000 were involved in regular community ministries such as clubs and classes in their local schools or regular after school programmes. 

Sixty thousand. That’s the size of Napier! That’s a significant number of children and we can celebrate what we are doing in our communities.

The problem is, that while many of these children are attending our programmes, they are not connecting with the churches who are running them. When we asked about those children who have found their way into the life of the church through the church’s community programmes we discovered something sad. 34% of the churches we surveyed had no children join the church as a result of their community programmes and the majority of the rest of the churches had only one or two children who became regular attenders at church. 

We feel the sadness of these statistics and we know you do too. They reflect real children and real families; ones that we meet in our schools and at the local shops. They are our neighbours and our friends.

How can we connect these children and their families with the life of our faith communities?

This is an important question for us to think about. It is one we need to ask God to help us with. How are the children and families in your community programmes connecting with your church?

Hilary Hague
Team leader of the Children and Families Department.


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