I have recently become a parent of TWO babies (one who is almost two years old, and one who is currently 6 weeks old), and I have an all new appreciation for connecting with parents in children's ministry. I have gotten the chance to visit different churches with my newborn baby with me, and have gotten to see the awesome things churches are doing to serve and connect with parents, even though they didn't know I was walking through their doors with experience in children's ministry. Here are a few things I have noticed:
One church had special parking for new and expectant moms: this was awesome!! Walking in with my newborn and lugging the diaper bag, etc, it was awesome to have a close spot!
Several of the churches had really nice and comfortable nursing rooms, with TVs to stream the service, and diaper changing stations. This was great.
Guest Follow-up: One of the churches sent a whole packet in the mail welcoming me and telling me all about their church, and I received a phone call from a pastor welcoming me to the church. Another church sent an email with links to info about their children's ministry. Another gave me a cool CD to listen to in the car with great children's worship songs. Another send a handwritten card from the pastor, with a $5 Starbucks gift card (can I say that was my favorite??!).
I was a little nervous walking into the church service with a newborn baby in my carrier, but she was too young to go into the nursery, and the churches I visited were all really friendly and nice about having me with a baby in the service, and the baby loved listening to the music and looking at the lights!
The children's ministry entrance was easy to find, if I needed it. Once the baby is old enough to go into the nursery, I liked going to visit churches where the children's ministry was clearly marked and easy to get to from the sanctuary.
It is so important in children's ministry to think of all the things parents will be thinking of, and how we can connect with them and help them feel safe and comfortable leaving their kids in children's ministry. I have loved getting to visit different churches and see them from an outsider's perspective and see how welcoming they are.
Children are a Gift
kidmin leader, mother, and servant of the Lord.
These are the views of Lynne Howard, and are not necessarily the views and opinions of any church.