Under-fives key to significant church growth
New research shows that young families with children under five could be a vital element for church growth. The Talking Toddlers report, using research by Savanta ComRes*, released on Monday 18 May, shows that 74% of all parents with children under the age of five have attended a church-run activity in the past year. This new research was commissioned by HOPE Together, the Church of England, and the Evangelical Alliance to highlight the potential for sustained church growth if the church nurtures the faith of under-fives and their parents. Download a summary of the research here.
The Talking Toddlers research shows that churches are already in contact with nearly three-quarters of all parents of under-fives in Great Britain:
- 74% of all parents with children under the age of five have attended a church activity in the past 12 months
- 12% of all parents of under-fives are practising Christians, double the number of practising Christians in the population
- 62% of all parents of under-fives are not active Christians, but they have attended a church activity for this age group in the past year
- Over half of these parents, 55%, say that they have explored their own beliefs because of attending these activities
- Only 25% of all parents of children aged 0-4 are currently not in contact with a church, but 35% of them would welcome an invite to a church-led activity for them and their children
Dr Jordan-Wolf said, ‘I was praying at the age of three and singing my own worship songs. My hope is that the church will see the incredible opportunity it has to help as many under-fives as possible to experience faith for themselves. The opportunity to turn round decline in the church might be right in front of us – a long-term strategy starting with the very young.’
Rachael Heffer, head of mission for the Evangelical Alliance said, ‘This research offers a real challenge and opportunity for church leaders to prioritise mission and ministry amongst the very young and to keep the Christian distinctiveness high within our groups geared to families of the under fives.’ Revd Canon David Male, Director of Evangelism and Discipleship for the Church of England, said, ‘This important research offers complimentary data to the ‘The Toddler Group Research’ in 2017 and should ensure that every church leader is considering how they are helping faith to grow both for parents and their children.’
Pray: Let us pray for more churches to engage with toddlers and families.
Source: Hope Together