Where We’re At

Recapping the Research

So, Before we dive into the practical implications of the research, we need to first understand what we uncovered. In the video below, Daniel Copeland, Associate Vice President of Research at Barna, shares important findings from the research.


Barna Webinar

To further explore the research itself, we recommend purchasing a copy of Children’s Ministry in a New Reality, a book published by Barna in June 2022, which includes a full recap of the research and insights from child discipleship thought leaders.


Old Maps, New Maps

The data has uncovered a handful of significant problems for us to collectively solve:

  • How do we solve the child discipleship responsibility stalemate between parents and children’s ministry leaders?
  • How do we measure the effectiveness of discipleship? How can we help children’s ministry leaders see the significance of their role in child discipleship?
  • How do we need to structure our children’s ministries to foster a higher quantity and quality of relationships between children and loving, caring adults?

At the 2022 Child Discipleship Forum, Awana CEO Matt Markins spoke about the necessary adjustments and improvements we need to make to more effectively disciple children in our local churches.


Matt Markins

We're Using Old Maps


Before we move into our next section on what this means for you, the leader, let’s take a few minutes to pause and process what you’ve just heard.

Reflect on the following questions:

  • Which piece of data is standing out to you?
  • When Daniel Copeland discussed in the research findings that children’s ministry leaders struggle to see their influence in the life of the children they disciple, how did that resonate with you?
  • How do you measure the effectiveness of your children’s ministry discipleship strategy?
  • How do you spend your time as a children’s ministry leader? Is your time spent fulfilling the vision and strategy you have for child discipleship, or is it spent in the details of schedules, meetings, and supplies?
  • What kind of map are you using in your children’s ministry? As the cartographer designing the map of your discipleship strategy, what new ways do you need to update to a new map?
  • What is your next best step? How will you move your focus from children’s ministry to child discipleship?

There is so much for you to glean from both Daniel Copeland and Matt Markins. While you may be moving on to the next section, consider coming back to these talks at a future time to keep asking questions that will transform your children’s ministry!