March was the last time we met in person until two weeks ago. For you, that may look different. Maybe you have been meeting for months, weeks, or have no idea when you will start meeting again, but you are trying to be creative. No matter what, we know you are working hard to either reopening church or trying to stay open.
When reopening church and children’s ministry, there are some very important things you don’t want to forget.
#1 Celebrate everyone the same!
Whether they are coming in person or tuning in online, celebration is important. If we aren’t careful though, it can be easy for us to only celebrate those in person and forget that there are parents and families who may not be ready to come back yet and that is okay. That was probably a very hard decision for them. So, when reopening church and your kids’ ministry, celebrate the same. Reach out to those individual families and see if you can have a front-yard picnic with their kids so they still feel included.
#2 Don’t get too caught up in logistics of reopening church.
Don’t get so caught up in the logistics that you forget to have fun and the Gospel gets lost. Kids are coming and are ready to learn and have fun with you. Though the method is different, the same message is being communicated and we have to be the same staff, team, and volunteers they remember pre-pandemic. Don’t over-complicate something that can be so simple. Remember, safety was always your first priority pre-Covid. We are just having to add in a few steps.
#3 Create a launch team.
These are the people who are your most committed and are going to serve with you each week. These are the people you wish you had enough budget to hire all of them. Your launch team are the people who come in and help you figure out what you missed and are ready to talk positively about all the updates you have made within your space.
#4 Evaluate. Update. Recreate.
Every week, something is going to go wrong because we aren’t perfect. Don’t skip over it. Embrace the things that need to be fixed. Take the time to make them better so you can continue to gain the trust of not only the community, but the families who attend your church. Utilize your resources—other KidMin leaders, your Orange Specialist, and the Orange KidMin Facebook page. These are areas where you can learn, grow, and recreate as you reopen your church.
#5 Sift through all the opinions.
Everyone has an opinion on reopening church! That doesn’t mean you have to take every opinion into consideration. Some are good and others are bad. Don’t let opinions be the driving and deciding factor of what you do. Remember, God has called and equipped you for this season. If you are wrestling with someone else’s opinion, take it to another KidMin leader you trust and run it by them. Ask for the opinion of someone you trust.
#6 Breathe! Take a moment and breathe.
God has called you and chosen you for this season. Anything you may have forgotten or not gotten done is going to work out because God selected you for this season and your families and staff believe in you. Trust Him as you reopen your church.
Social media, mail-outs, emails, signs, etc. Now is the time to figure out the best ways to communicate with your families and utilize those resources on reopening church. If you’re using Orange Kids curriculum, it includes a great monthly social media plan that I highly recommend. These can be found in your curriculum dashboard within the Home folder. The graphics and post schedule help you as the church leader remind your parents and families of ways to stay better connected with their kids and keep communication going within their homes. You can also use social media scheduling tools like Later or Hootsuite to keep it from getting overwhelming. Ask around and find out how families are interacting the most so you can leverage that to your benefit and make sure everyone is receiving your communication.
At the end of the day, the seven things above may be things you have already thought about or have no idea how to do and that’s okay. Don’t forget there are other amazing KidMin Leaders in your area who want to help you succeed in reopening church. When we all work together as the capital “C” Church, we can reach more families with the name of Jesus. Don’t forget, COVID has not only tested us as believers, but it has also caused many people who don’t know Jesus to be more open to Him—so look up and look out.