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A factor that is often overlooked by church staff, but one of the most important to a visitor at church, is the Children/Student Ministry. What visitors want to see from Children’s Ministry and the Nursery is twofold—security and genuine care. If their kids have fun, that is the cherry on top. When they drop their kids off, they’re seeking a strong sense that their child will be safe, warmly and sincerely accepted, and seen as an individual child. They want to hear you say their child’s name and see you help the child become part of the group. To them, their child is not just another kid. It’s their kid. They want them to feel special and it speaks volumes if you make them feel that way…but even louder if you don’t.
Not too long ago, I asked some friends who had been looking for a new church how the hunt was going. They responded with how much they loved the ministry of a particular church, but were completely disturbed by how their young children were treated. When they would drop their children off, it was extremely difficult to get the attention of the teacher, and when they finally did, the children were checked in without a smile and “mushed” into the herd. This happened for several weeks in a row, and the same routine happened each time at pickup—only the teacher was not the only one without a smile…the children were equally discontent.
While the pastor preached his heart out and ministry was catered for them, these visitors—who were sure to become workers in the church—could not let their children grow up in that environment. They moved on.
What do your Children Ministries say about you as a church? How are you ensuring that the standards you have in your pulpit clearly exist in other parts of your church?
Great reminder. In a world of helicopter parents and a world that comes at our kids with a multi-billion-dollar budget, churches can profit greatly with the kinds of things that are free, but priceless.
How much does it cost to give a warm smile or appropriate gentle touch? Nothing. But the benefits to everybody are priceless.
Posted on Tue, Apr 7, 2009 @ 11:23 AM CST
As the fahter of 3 young girls I could not agree more with this post. Our family has recently moved, so we were lookiing for a new church. The church we are now going to made a great effort with our kids. They were including in all the things that the other kids were doing. In fact the first people to ask if we would be placing membership were the teachers of kid's classes.
Posted on Fri, Apr 10, 2009 @ 3:14 PM CST
I like this post and it helps to look at how we do childrens ministry. I will share this with our children's director.
Posted on Fri, Jul 20, 2012 @ 5:00 PM CST
Huge thanks for the encouragement!
Posted on Wed, Jul 25, 2012 @ 9:39 AM CST
Thank you, very useful article as a church planter for the first time, much needed advice.
Posted on Fri, Oct 12, 2012 @ 11:09 PM CST
Great! So glad to be of help. If you have any questions or need additional advice along the way, drop me a line. I'd be happy to help in any way I can. Blessings!
Posted on Mon, Oct 15, 2012 @ 2:32 PM CST