Apparently only 3% of Australian children are in church each week. The figure for all ages is just under 9%. But the age of the Australian church is heavily weighted towards the elderly.
Then the penny dropped.
I've been collecting data on church participation in Australia. Nobody's counting the children anymore. Or if they are, they aren't reporting it.
Getting ready to watch the big game on Saturday when an ad came on about AusKick, the program that develops young children into Aussie Rules football players. AusKick knows how many children between the ages of six and twelve it has. The number is 161,000. Not bad for a nation of 21 million.
Think about it. Those kids aren't watching adults play the game. The adults are there to help them play the game.
AusKick knows how many children it has. They know how many go on to play footy at the local club or for their school. They know how many amateurs are playing the game. They sure know how many elite professionals there are and how many began in AusKick.
They know the future of Aussie Rules is as healthy as the number of children that enjoy playing. So?
Do we have any idea how many children are growing up to know and serve Jesus? Do we have a development pathway for them? Or is church about entertainment and when the world offers them something better they disappear and we think it's their fault.
The motto of AusKick? “Where champions begin.”
What would church look like if we were growing champions?