How to Attract Young Families to Church

How to Attract young families to church

Written by Valerie Riese

31st March 2024

Many congregations struggle to attract young families to church. In this article, you’ll learn easy and fun tips to attract young families to church by leveraging an appeal toward what they care about the most—their kids!

In Matthew 18:5, Jesus said that whoever welcomes a child in His name also welcomes Him. So how can we welcome children, and therefore the whole family?

A welcome is more than a friendly hello. A greeting is the bare minimum, an insult if neglected. We feel welcome when we are accepted for who we are and we are attracted to churches who show us we will be missed if we don’t come.

How to Attract Young Families to Church

We can welcome our children during the sermon, through the church environment, by organizing activities outside of church, and by providing the post-pandemic church culture we all need.

During the Sermon

A welcoming church service starts with the pastor. Pastors, to engage young families, consider how to target sermons towards relevant topics such as finance, marriage, work-life balance, and parenting. Incorporate relatable anecdotes and illustrations from your own experience or popular culture to capture their attention and help them apply the gospel to their everyday lives.
If we want children to hear the gospel, then we have to speak their language. Here are a few ways to make children feel seen and welcome as you speak to the rest of the congregation.

  • Ask the children questions or invite them to share their opinions or experiences to help them pay attention, understand, and remember your message.
  • Tell stories about when you were a boy.
  • Involve the kids in services. For example, the kids can make Valentine’s cards for members of the congregation and then hand them out during service. This is a very tangible way to teach the joy of giving, love, and respect, and to bring delight to the recipients.
  • Draw parallels and metaphors from a child’s everyday life to explain or illustrate biblical principles. For example, use stories, jokes, cartoons, videos, puppets, or props that relate to the topic of your sermon.
  • Speak to the children collectively with questions or relatable stories. For example, you may address them by saying, “I’m going to talk to the kids for a moment… Hey, kids, have you ever…”
  • Announce there might be a test during the sermon, so you will look for the kids who pay attention. When it comes time, ask a simple question or two, watch the kids’ hands burst into the air, and encourage their participation.
  • Tap into the little boy inside you. Be free to be a little silly or animated during the sermon. Both the adults and the kids will appreciate your light-heartedness.


Another way to attract young families to church is to provide a welcoming environment where they feel comfortable.

  • Put rocking chairs in the back of the room or scattered through the seating area. Even if they are simple folding rocking chairs, families with little ones will know you are thinking of them.
  • Provide a baby room equipped with speakers where parents can take crying infants and listen to the sermon.
  • Provide a collection of bags containing activities for the kids, such as drawing, coloring, quiet fidget toys, and Bible stories.
  • As parents take notes during the sermon, encourage children to draw or take a few notes about what they learn. Make fun writing utensils and paper available. Invite a few children to show or describe what they wrote. Provide a billboard where kids can share what they learn.
  • Provide a simple changing table in the restrooms, along with a pack of wipes. Ask parents to provide small bags of diapers of various sizes to stock at the changing table for emergencies.
  • Make the church a place where people can find the help they need with life’s struggles with a collection of brochures about community resources. Invite the congregation to contribute to the collection.

After Church

I can suggest that church committees organize things like Bible studies and ministry activities, but you already know that. So, here’s something that perhaps you haven’t considered: It’s okay to organize a church event for which no one needs a Bible.
Of course, scripturally centered activities are the heartbeat of the church, but it takes more to nourish a community of families doing life together in good times and bad. Community is made of relationships, and relationships are made of memories.
Give your congregation opportunities to just be together and enjoy each other’s company. For example, invite a day for parents to meet at the park or the pool with their children. Meet after church for donuts, organize a Super Bowl party, a walking club, a movie night, a backyard campfire, a craft day—anything! Just get fellow believers together to form memories and friendships.

Post-Pandemic Church Culture

Your website is the new church foyer in our post-pandemic, technical culture. Help families find you by leveraging the Google Ad Grant to rank well for keywords such as “family church.”

Once they know your church exists, parents will visit you online before going to church, so use images that show other young families, engaging childcare, and Sunday school. Highlight your child safety procedures through things like secure parent check-ins.

Young families were already overwhelmed, and then life as we knew it changed forever in 2020. We’re all still reeling, including children who lack the words to express their confusion.

Therefore, one of the best ways to welcome young families into church is to assure them they are not alone. Their struggles are both real and valid. At every opportunity, tell them Jesus loves them so much that He died so He could dry their tears.
Christians fearing judgment struggle in silence and search Google in secret for answers only Jesus has. Whatever is on their heart is likely in their browser history. Their collective browser history is in every SEO analytics tool, so to attract hurting families to church, use the Google Ad Grant to tell them about Jesus.



Young families are more likely to attend church when they don’t have to struggle with the kids. When the children are engaged, then the parents can listen and participate in service.

Maya Angelou wrote, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

To attract young families to church, make them feel welcome and give them what every believer has always longed for: Jesus and each other.

Your website is the first step, so contact Click Nonprofit to get help with showing up on Google for keywords that young families are looking for through our Local SEO and Google Grant service.

You May Also Like…

10 Sermon Ideas For Pastors

10 Sermon Ideas For Pastors

Table Of Contents Sermon Ideas: What is Biblical Marriage? What is Sin? Who is Jesus? What Does the Bible Say About...