After more then a year of being online for many of our children’s ministries, we may be looking forward to finally being able to return to some type of in person opportunities. In May, CBOQ Kids hosted 2 conversations that addressed this issue. There are both physical space, practical considerations as well as programmatic considerations. Highlights from each conversation are listed below. You can also find a link to view the full conversation that includes both an opening 30 minute presentation as well as a question and answer section.
Key Points for physically re-opening children’s ministry space in your church:
Watch the full conversation here.
*form a ‘relaunch team’ that includes various interests represented (parents, leadership, children’s ministry volunteers, worship leaders, etc)
*have your goals clearly in mind
*listen to various perspectives and voices with diligence and discernment
*walk through macro-level and micro-level details
*have someone physically walk through the space the kids will move through and identify potential points of challenge
*be willing to make temporary changes and compromise in order to facilitate the most options for families.
*be diligent in keeping up with local guidelines and be consistent! i.e. mask policy for kids
*rethink programming/scheduling of lesson components in light of ministry shifts
Key Points for Programmatic and Relational Considerations in Children’s Ministry:
There are 3 main categories that are important to consider: volunteers, curriculum and reconnecting relationally. I have listed some key points on each area.
Watch the full conversation here.
*determine the volunteers you need and their roles (this may look different then pre-pandemic)
*have a clear outline of expectations
*some families may continue to remain home after you begin in person. Regardless of whether you continue online ministry or not, consider having ‘virtual volunteers’ to connect with families at home
*connect with volunteers and begin team building/training (even if it is virtual still) as soon as possible
*develop training that includes wellness policy and safety, new routines, equipping volunteers for strategies in separation anxiety, etc
*consider the best curriculum that will allow for space to reflect, process and reconnect as a group with God post pandemic.
*consider some initial lessons that create space for kids to reflect on the pandemic season rather then jumping back into whatever curriculum you usually use. For example, Joshua 12 and remembering st0nes (watch video for this idea)
*I would be happy to speak more with you about specific curriculums for your context but do consider ones that are adaptable for online or compatible for families still home (ie. Group’s Dig In or Simply Loved)
*make a video walk through of what kids/families can expect when they return. Include a section that shows you wearing a mask and taking the mask off so kids are familiar with you
*consider redefining your purpose (particularly for the first few months) that focuses about weekly connection (not weekly attendance!)
*prioritize relationship and connection over getting through everything in the lesson
*create an environment that allows kids to safely interact and participate and allows for safe space for kids to share, ask questions, etc
*have physical space set up before kids arrive and be ready to greet them by name at the door at eye level
*kids may have forgotten you! be sure to introduce yourself!
*create fun connections that do not require your hands! (ie. feet bumps, waves)
I am praying for you as you prepare to return to in-person children’s ministry. I would be happy to speak with you further. Email me to arrange a conversation.