Room to breathe can, at times, be just as important as the life-giving air itself. We do not choke because there is no air around us… rather, we choke when we do not have access to that air.
So, how does this principal relate to Children’s Ministry?
It’s simple, really.
An effective Children’s Ministry program values and utilizes the time and space before and after an event as much as the event itself is valued.
Some children need time to acclimate to a setting. Others need the chance to say a long goodbye to mom, dad, grandma or grandpa. Volunteer teams need time to settle into their role. They need time to pray. Effective programs have enough of a rolling start to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that every team member feels comfortable about their role during the event.
On the back end, families should never feel rushed out of a space. Children should have the time and freedom to linger and build relationships with one another. Parents need time to connect with others after their programs have ended without feeling rushed to pick-up their kids. Check-out processes should never feel rushed; therefore compromising the safety of the children in our care.
Does your Senior Pastor, or those in charge of setting times for worship services, value the time and space they give you between programs?
In a scenario where a church has multiple Sunday services, you may want to take a look at the time you’re giving your ministry between programs. If your ministry’s team members are required to arrive 15 minutes before their shifts begin… are you giving them enough time to engage other members of your church if they attended the previous service? Or, are they leaving the service early in order to be on time to their commitment to you and the church’s children? Do they have space to catch their breath?
If you expect your leaders to attend church after they serve in children’s ministry, are you allowing enough time for them to linger in your children’s ministry area in order to engage families and make personal connections with parents? Or, do they have to rush to the next service because they’ve already missed the opening worship song?
These are a few of the questions churches should consider when evaluating their service times… assuming churches take the time to evaluate their service times.
The space between programs allows the team members involved in the event a chance to breathe.
Space between programmed events creates opportunities for relationships to be formed.
Intentionally allowing you and your ministry teams enough time to catch their breath could be the one thing keeping your program and your leaders from thriving.