Research Calls For Greater Investment In Children’s Ministry




Published Date: 17 Jun 2024

CMF Press Release

Newly released research highlights the need for ongoing commitment and strategic investment to build sustainable and effective children's and family ministries across parishes in the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne.

The Children’s Ministry Futures Snapshot Report presents findings from research led by the Ridley Centre for Children’s and Youth Ministry in 2023.

The numbers of children involved across the Diocese are small, and the general trend is one of attrition, with the numbers of young people involved in our churches declining as they move through teenage years into young adulthood.

Healthy children’s and family ministries are evident where children play a visible and willing role in the intergenerational life of a parish. Hopefulness for future ministry arises when there is a clear priority placed on ministry among children in parish planning.

The research project was led by Dr Graham Stanton, director of the Ridley Centre for Children’s and Youth Ministry, in partnership with Diocesan Youth Ministry Consultant, Brian Holden.

The children’s ministry snapshot complements the Youth Ministry Futures Snapshot research conducted in 2021. The youth ministry report has been revised with newly released data on the numbers of volunteers and employed staff with youth ministry responsibilities in parishes.

Dr Stanton says, ‘this kind of research is so important to get a clear picture of what’s actually happening in our ministries among children and young people. We’re more likely to take realistic steps forward if we face up to the challenges before us.’

The five recommendations made by the research team are to:

  1. include children’s and family ministry in parish planning;
  2. make wider use of the CMF health indicators for evaluating the health of children’s and family ministries;
  3. invest in training and support for children’s and family ministry leaders;
  4. build effective partnerships between parishes, and with schools; and
  5. expand diocesan support for the Diocesan Children and Young People Ministry Team.

Children's and Youth Ministry Futures Research

To learn more about the Children's and Youth Ministry Futures Research, please follow the link below.

We respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri People, who are the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Ridley College campus is built.
Ridley College is an affiliated college with the Australian College of Theology, CRICOS Provider Code 02650E.
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