6 Ways that “Boring Forms” Provide Essential Insight into the Pulse of Your Ministry
It can feel like you are inundated with forms. There are so many forms to fill out for every program and the administration of it all can end up feeling overwhelming. So you end up with a stack of forms on your desk that you barely look at except to check that they are filled out and to ensure you are aware of any allergies.
But I believe that these forms have so much more value. Registration forms and attendance records particularly are valuable tools in Children’s Ministry. These records offer more than compliance with insurance companies and contact information for families.
Here are 6 ways registration forms and attendance records provide essential insight into the pulse of your ministry:
1. Trends in Attendance
Look at attendance records over a quarter and over the whole year. You will notice trends that can help you make decisions about how to plan for the future, when to begin and end programs, and see when there might be significant drops in attendance.
For example, you notice that attendance dramatically drops off of your clubs program after June so that might be valuable information to consider shutting it down for the summer.
2. Ratio of Churched Kids to Unchurched Kids
Registration forms can tell you how many churched kids are attending your programs and how many unchurched kids are attending. This is especially helpful information for outreach and evangelistic programs.
You might notice that your outreach program only has 10% non-churched children and 90% churched children. In this case you need to look at ways of encouraging those kids to invite their friends and of ways of getting the word out in the community.
3. Consistency in Attendance
Attendance records can tell you who attends programs consistently and who doesn’t. Looking at these records will also tell you if a student who has been consistent suddenly drops off.
When reviewing attendance records you may notice that a certain child has been missing from the program. You may want to follow up and find out why.
4. Awareness of Family Schedules
With families busy with so many different activities, it can be difficult to know when to schedule events or programs. Taking a look at your attendance records can help you become more aware of the family schedules in your church.
You may notice that attendance as a whole drops off at a certain point in the year. You may want to do some investigating and find out why. The answers might help you schedule the program to fit the needs of families better.
5. Drop in Specific Program Attendance
It’s valuable to take a look at registration and attendance over a number of years.
You may notice that certain programs that were well-attended in the past have far fewer attending now. This may mean you need to look at changes to the program or the possibility of ending the program if it has run its course.
6. Registrations for Kids Who Don’t Actually Attend
You may notice that you received registration forms for children who are not actually attending the program. You may want to follow up with parents and find out why this is.
As you can see, all that paperwork that you feel inundated with in Children’s Ministry is actually essential. If you take the time to review your records you will find insight into the pulse of your ministry.