So you’ve got things up and running and your kid’s ministry is exciting, vibrant, and making a difference in the lives of children. Awesome! You want more kids to come right? Good. There are two things you need to consider regarding newcomers to your kid’s ministry that the uninitiated may not understand…
1. Check-In / Check-Out Process
It is important for this to be very clear. Are there big signs that parents can see where to check their kids in? Is the person at the check-in friendly and welcoming? Are all the new parents able to tour the kid’s area first? Is there information available explaining to them what to expect? Think of yourself as a new parent dropping your kid off for the first time; what would you like to have happened? It’s important to let parents know that their children are safe and will have a great time. Make sure you explain to them how to pick up their kids as well.
2. Dismiss Kids Time
I’ve been to many churches where the kids start in the service. One tradition is to “call the kids to the front and pray for them”. This may be great for kids and parents who are regular attendees but it creates an issue for parents who are in your church for the first time and may not understand what is happening. My personal preference is just to dismiss the children without bringing them to the front, giving clear instructions from the stage of how to register your kids. However, if you need to bring the kids up, I would suggest you explain to the new parents what is happening and give them the ok to keep their kids with them. Then when all the kids are dismissed, dismiss the new guests as well. You may even want to have a kid’s worker identify new families and sit with them during that moment to explain to them what is happening and then take the kids with him/her as they leave.
Remember that the processes seem familiar to us because we use them every day. It’s important to think through each process from an outsider’s perspective to determine what speed bumps may be in the way.