by Trenton Oshiro/ July 21, 2020
As many states reopen businesses, malls, and even movie theaters, churches are also starting to reopen. For children ministry, it leaves the question, “When will Kidmin relaunch?” The answer to this daunting question will largely depend on your lead pastor and the location of your church. You may find it difficult to determine a date to relaunch children ministry. However, before you do, ask yourself these 3 vital questions about relaunching.
This is the most important of the 3 questions. Every state, city, and church will have a different answer to this question. Although many states are allowing child care facilities to operate during the lockdown for children of essential workers, this might not apply to Kidmin. Even if local regulations are permitting churches to gather in person, this still doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe to relaunch Kidmin.Your lead pastor will have an opinion about whether it is safe for adult services to reopen, but may be unsure about relaunching Kidmin. A good benchmark to consider is if similar local childcare facilities or schools are open. If these facilities are open, then examine their guidelines on social distancing. As the children ministry leader or director, give options to your lead pastor and help them to decide on relaunching Kidmin. Some churches have relaunched Kidmin for only grade school students (those who can social distance easier). Other churches have opened for infants to 6th grade. Although it’s important to allow your lead pastor to determine if relaunching is safe, there are some other points to consider.
2. Is your Kidmin facility/area able to adequately social distance?
Recently, every store I entered has new social distancing procedures in place. You have probably experienced examples of these new protocols: limiting store capacity, stickers on the ground 6ft apart, and temperature checks. This will likely be the new norm moving forward for a long time. In the same way, Kidmin needs to adapt as well. Changing procedures to provide a safe, clean environment is essential for keeping your children healthy. As you prepare your Kidmin facility/area for relaunch, consider the additional factors below.
3. Is your Kidmin team ready?
This is the last vital, and sometimes overlooked important question. Without a strong volunteer team, you may find it nearly impossible to keep children 6ft apart. Make sure you connect with your volunteers to see if they are ready to serve again. Firstly, ensure that your volunteer team is physically able to serve. If your team is composed of elderly or immunocompromised individuals, it may not be safe for them to return yet. Secondly, check that you have enough volunteers who are willing to come back and serve in Kidmin. Being physically able to return does not mean a volunteer is ready to serve. Some may like the long break from Kidmin and decide to step down. Others may feel it’s too early to relaunch. Explaining the precautions that the church and children ministry is taking can make some uneasy volunteers feel better about returning. There are various reasons why a volunteer may not wish to return. You may need a recruitment campaign to precede or coincide with the relaunch of Kidmin. Regardless, do everything you can to lessen impacts to volunteers and any fears they may have, so they can return with confidence.Once you have volunteers who are able and willing to serve, your attention can shift to training your team on the new procedures and protocols. Make sure everyone is comfortable with new protocols before relaunching Kidmin. Examine your team’s readiness by considering the points below.
You may have many other questions to consider when planning to relaunch Kidmin. Preparing to relaunch Kidmin is a huge undertaking, but answering these 3 vital questions can help. Think on your answers and focus attention to what matters most: providing a safe and clean environment for children to experience God in a tangible way.