digital programming in children's ministry

We believe every Sunday counts. In the midst of a pandemic, that belief hasn’t changed. However, online church demands more from children’s ministry leaders than ever before. It takes time and effort to create quality videos for the kids in your ministry, and thousands of churches across the country are asking the same questions. How do you know if your content is engaging enough? How do you know if kids are watching regularly?  Is our online kids ministry successful? Is our digital programming working?

Success Metrics for Digital Programming

Fortunately, you do not have to be a data scientist to figure out if your online church is successful! We created the analytics dashboard inside of Playlister to help churches determine the success of their online digital programming. With the data from your at-home experiences, there are two metrics your ministry can use to define success.

  • How many families watch
  • How much they watch 

Total Unique Viewers Means Your Church’s Family Count

To start, let’s look at the amount of families watching virtual church. This might seem like an eternity ago, but we must start with a walk down memory lane! To determine success, we must think back to church before COVID-19. Think . . . What number of families in attendance was considered successful on a Sunday? For example, a church with 1,000 families is considered successful when 250 families attend children’s services. That means this church expects 25% of their families on any given Sunday. 

Survey by Gallup on church attendance pre-COVID

According to National surveys conducted by Gallup polls, about 37% of your church’s families will come to church at least once in 30 days. Let’s apply that thinking to your church’s virtual data. The first metric you see is Total Unique Views, which is your Family Count in digital programming. 

Data pulled from a large midwest church with 1,000 families shows a successful 439 families (43.9%) are watching

In the 1,000-family church example, 27-37% of families watch videos at home, which means about 370 families is average. This large mid-west church with 1,000 families had 439 total unique viewers or family count – a successful 43. 9% of families who watched from home.

To find your virtual church’s data, you can calculate 27%-37% of your family count. For instance, if you have 50 families, then success would mean 13-18 families watching your content.  It is important to note that most churches feel like they are failing unless all of their families are watching. The truth is, 100% virtual attendance is unrealistic – anything above 25% for your digital programming is fantastic and cause for celebration.

Average Completion Means Amount of Content Watched

Secondly, let’s look at the amount of content your families view in your digital programming. When they attend the virtual service, how much do they watch? Netflix relies heavily on this data to analyze the success of various programs; a higher number here means that families are engaged and watching your content. On the Playlister analytics dashboard, we call this data point Average Completion, which means how far a family gets through a playlist that they begin watching. 

Data pulled from the same large midwest church show a successful Average Completion rate

Truthfully, your families should be completing on average 70% of your playlists. Keep in mind that it is challenging to achieve a 70% completion rate. In order to optimize kids’ content, keep your videos concise and the content engaging. Remember, most cartoons for kids on Netflix are 20-26 minutes long for a reason. To keep kids engaged, try to make your digital programming around 20 minutes with short introductions for the duration of the service. By incorporating this data into your kids’ ministry, you will be able to measure the success of your virtual church. After all, every Sunday counts – make every moment you spend prepping videos count by tracking your success with Playlister’s analytics dashboard.

To check out the digital experience guide for your children’s ministry, click here!