• Target Audience—Boys
This will be a new series that will attempt to help you deal with some of the issues you face in relating to various constituents in your children’s ministry.
#1. Focus on Boys
It is often easier for us to favor working with the girls in our ministries because they are typically more relational and faster to respond. However, conversely it might be typical for boys to be less relational and slower to respond. So attracting and keeping boys involved in our ministries might represent your challenge. If you really want boys in your program you have to be intentional about reaching them. Rarely, do we just have a lot of boys. Without focus you can also loose them.
Here are some of my practical tips for sharpening your focus on boys in your children’s ministries:
1. Try to spend time with boys outside your program, i.e., home visits, attend sporting events, drive-by greetings, burger visits (with parent approval, of course)
2. In your meetings try to pay more attention to boys; get eye contact with them, watch them more, notice when you loose them and what seems to work with them.
3. Spot potential leaders: determine if there is one boy that the other boys look up to. Get to know this boy. He is their perceived leader. The leader just may be the one that is acting out and represents a challenge to you.
4. Ask the boys to help you in your meetings, set up, be your helpers, hand out or collect materials, taking the offering, praying, sharing, helping with clean up, working your media or helping the younger ones, etc.
5. Every program you offer should have something intentional for the boys. Ask yourself what is there today for the boys?
6. Recruit men to be involved in your ministry and teach them to relate to the boys deliberately. This might help you the most.
7. Find out from the boys just what hobbies, interests and sports they like. Begin showing interest in these areas.
8. Use illustrations and examples that boys can relate to in their lives. Tell your childhood stories, even if you are not a man.
9. Get to know the friends of boys in your program. This will impress them that you are seriously interested in them.
10. Ask them if you can pray for anything for them. Then pray specifically for them and their request right on the spot. Let them hear you pray.
11. Consider forming a group just for boys, particularly your older boys (4-6 graders). You might be discipling future leaders.
12. Avoid scolding boys into good behavior, rather provide an alternative to their behavior, the principle of substitution or diversion.
Targeting boys can help you attract and keep boys in your ministry.