Know Your Sheep

Leadership //

Who are your sheep? As a leader you’re a shepherd to those that you lead, your sheep are the children and families you minister to.

It’s one thing to deliver a great lesson, play a cool game and keep children entertained but it’s another thing to be actively caring for and pastoring people in your ministry. We need to know who our sheep are, Proverbs 27:23 in the Message puts it like this “know your sheep by name; carefully attend to your flocks”. In the NIV the verse reads “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds.”

Knowing your sheep can be hard work, but it’s not impossible. If you’re caring for a handful of children and families or thousands, you can put systems and strategies in place to help you know where people are at.

Know who your sheep are.

I might sound strange, but if I became part of a church plant that was starting services in a month, I would take all the time I needed to make sure we had a cutting edge database ready to rock. Facebook is basically a monstrous world-wide contact database worth billions, so I see the value of correct information in this day and age. Does your church and children’s ministry keep a roll of who is part of your community? Invite new families to complete a simple form with names, birthdays and contact information. If you are able to have a system set up across your church from early days with smaller attendance, it will set you in good stead as your church grows in size.

Know the condition of your sheep.

Recording attendance information for your children’s ministry helps you to know the condition of your sheep. If you’re able to track not just how many children have attended but who those children are and the families they represent, this information can help you to pastor families more effectively. It’s not about numbers, it’s about who those numbers represent. It’s about people and seeing lives changed.

Attendance patterns tell a story.

Maybe the story of a family who attends regularly and then misses a few weeks due to an illness in their family. If you have a system for following up non-attendees or noticing who isn’t there giving them a call you discover what’s going on and are able to help them. You can then jump into action, pray with them, deliver meals and pastor them.

The NKJV of Proverbs 27:23 reads “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks and attend to your herds.” It’s important that you are diligent with keeping accurate attendance information and records. If your information isn’t accurate, it could be telling you the wrong story.

Your attendance information helps you make informed decisions about your programming and services. A number of years ago our team sat down and put together a significant analysis of attendance data of our Church, especially when it came to families. What we discovered and have confirmed with Churches similar to ours is that 25% of our families are ‘every weekend’ or key families, while 75% attend anywhere from once a month to twice a year! But over a three week period 75% of our families will attend Church.

This information has helped us make shifts in how we pastor, teach and connect with families in our church. We have developed focused call teams that call at different non attendee intervals. We’ve also changed our approach to curriculum. Knowing that over a three week period 75% of our families will attend, we explore one topic for three weekends. There will be some repetition of course, but that means even the child that comes once a month will gain an understanding of the theme. The fruit of this insight is found in our latest Hillsong Kids Big Curriculum Faith, Hope and Love now available to pre-order at our store<>. It’s 9 lessons divided into three topics that cover some of the most significant virtues in the Christian life.

Know your sheep, be diligent to care for them and pastor them. Do your best to tailor your program and pastoring to effectively reach those you lead.

By David Wakerley – Hillsong Kids





About the Author

David Wakerley is the Children's Pastor of Hillsong Church. Nathan McLean is the Children's Pastor of the Hills Campus and is the Leadership Development oversight for Hillsong Kids. Check out Hillsong Kids BIG Children's Ministry Curriculum at Follow us on twitter: @hillsongkids and facebook: