Children want 24/7 church

An online survey conducted by MethodistChildren has found thatchildren prefer to participate in the fun, fellowship and communityoffered by churches during the week and in summer holidays than onSundays.

Steve Pearce, Children's Secretary, says; ''Midweek groups arealmost 100% bigger than Sunday groups. Many churches are doinggreat work on Sundays, but it's clear from our results thatchildren want church to be more than just that - they want to go toactivities during the week. Which is great, because 43% of thechurches that work with children already provide mid-weekactivities, with an average of 38 children attending eachgroup.'

This is particularly the case for the 9-13's age group andMethodistChildren hope to see the work of the Church servingchildren's needs throughout the week. Steve says; 'Sundays arespecial, but we're called to be Christians every day of the weekand this survey shows that children and young people have a 24/7spirituality that needs to be fed all the time. We are alreadydoing this in a variety of ways through services such as theMethodistChildren website and free weekly texting service. We arealso involved in various online church projects for those of allages, but there's always more room for growth.'

Doug Swanney, Children's Work Development Officer, comments that;'This strengthens the case for churches to develop work on daysother than Sunday and to try one-off events and holiday clubs. Itshows the opportunity churches now have for partnership withschools and clubs as they develop their extended services.'

Children's workers across Britain are adapting to this trend andthe survey highlights their most pressing needs as wanting a localforum to discuss ideas and encouragement, more resources and moretraining. MethodistChildren has responded with a new resource, TheMethodistChildren Journey, which is being sent to all churches thisweek.

Doug comments; 'The most significant finding of the survey is thatwhen churches do something new, it usually works. Churches need tobe ready to take the risk of trying new things Ð they might justsurprise themselves with how successful they are.'

The results of the survey are available online at www.methodistchildren.org.uk.