How To Encourage Sunday School Attendance

Sunday School ChildDo you notice the trend that many families are choosing to attend Sunday School every other week? For most churches, kids’ attendance is more and more sporadic as their lives get busier and busier. There are a few strategies that we can use to encourage kids to attend Sunday School. Click here to share your own ideas with other readers.

1.  Notice when they are NOT there.  I’m always amazed by the response by kids and families to a simple “We missed you” card.  People want to know that you care.  When they know that you care whether they are there or not,  kids are more likely to come. Train teachers to send notes, make calls, or follow up in other ways when their kiddos are missing.  We use our attendance software to track absences.  After missing four weeks a child gets a postcard. If they have missed 5-7 they get a call from our staff, then another postcard after 8 weeks.

2.  Make it fun.  If kids feel like they are going to miss something, they are going to do their best not to miss.  Make it your goal to have kids dragging their parents to church.

3.  Regularly schedule “high attendance” events.  People show up for special occasions, especially if there is food involved.  Pick one Sunday a quarter to be your “high attendance” day.  Create a fun theme.  Encourage all teachers to contact everyone on their rolls.

4.  Help kids feel connected with each other.  One of the top reasons I hear of why kids don’t want to go to Sunday School is that they “don’t know anyone”.  Each week include a “get to know you” ice breaker in every class.

5.  Have fun social events outside of class.  This relates to the point above about helping kids connect with each other.  If they can have fun together outside of Sunday morning, they will feel more comfortable in class, and then they will be more likely to come..

6.  Follow up with visitors.  Make sure you have a great plan for following up with new families who attend your church.  Help them feel welcome, answer their questions, and encourage them to come back.  Consider also sending out welcome packets with information about your ministry and maybe even a small gift card or coupon.

For more ideas, read our post about making families and children feel welcome in your church. You might also enjoy our bulletin insert that lists 10 Reasons To Bring Your Child To Sunday School.


  1. Eve says

    My children attend 2 Sunday schools. When they don’t because of bad weather or because of another engagement their grandmother throws a fit and that is very discouraging.One would think i live with her. Her kids were in Sunday school and every event in the church they attended. Did you think they turned out any better? one’s an ex- con, one ‘s on drugs and one does not even speak to her. Her manipulative behavior is off putting.My children don’t mind Sunday school just after church in the morning or if there is no service for whatever reason attend one in the afternoon but they get tired because there are extracurricular activities that they partake in on a Sunday an 2 sessions of Sunday school could be tiring.

  2. Malala Rabarisoa says

    Hi! when I was young, I appreciated that the teacher gave us an apple tree card with the dates and every sunday, each child received one apple at sticked it on the right date.

  3. Misty Gallahan says

    I like these ideas, but I would like to point out that the majority of children don’t live in a traditional family home, and most of my Sunday School children spend every other weekend with the parent living outside the home. Just a thought. I would never want to make a child feel bad for something that is out of their control.

  4. Julie De Graaf says

    These are some great ideas… we are considering a Sunday School award for attendance. Just wondering what others have done for awards and prizes. Also ideas about those whose reason they can not attend every week is that they are with the parent that attends our church every other week.

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