Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Parent's Night Out!

As I mentioned in a post last week, I'm looking for writers who are willing to write for About the Children's Department. If you are interested, check this link.

I'm happy and honored to introduce a new writer to you . . . Liz Wine! Liz has worked in children’s ministry in several capacities; from being a volunteer to currently directing a children’s ministry program.  Her responsibilities include overseeing Sunday morning classes, selecting curriculum, running VBS, Parent’s Night Out and whatever else God plops into her lap! Liz especially enjoys working with special needs children and their families and spent a year in Rwanda teaching missionaries children. She has previously written poetry and other works for several denominational publications.  When she is not working, Liz enjoys reading, watching movies, and laughing. Welcome, Liz, to About the Children's Department and thank you for being willing to share with everyone who reads this blog!

So, I am delighted to share with you Liz's first post . . . Parent's Night Out!

Are you looking for a way to minister to parents, while getting a chance to have positive interactions with children in your church? One of my favorite things we do at my church which serves parents and builds relationships with the children is Parent’s Night Out. Our church typically plans these three times a year: one at the start of the school year, one around Christmas, and one towards the end of the school year.


Our program is staffed by volunteers, and we charge only a nominal fee to cover the cost of food. We do have each family sign a release form at each event, so we can make sure we have current contact information, and are waived from liability.

The event is usually about 2 ½ hours long so parents have time to get dinner or go to a movie. Typically, we schedule these events from 6-8:30 pm. The only thing children need to bring is their pajamas, if they wish to change into them, and a pillow/blanket for movie time, if they desire. Sometimes we have themes, and sometimes we do not. For example, we might show a Veggie Tales film, and do a craft in relation to the Bible story.

A typical schedule might look like:

  • 6-6:20-Dinner (We serve a simple, healthy supper).
  • 6:20-7:20 pm—Gym and Crafts. We split the kids into 2 groups, and send half to each area for 30 minutes and then switch.
  • 7:20-7:30-Change into PJ’s.
  • 7:30-8:30-Movie

Our schedule often varies, depending on the length of the movie. I have found the children really like the time and the volunteers also have fun as well! This is a more laid-back time than Sunday mornings to interact with the kids and can provide a unique, and fun, opportunity for volunteers and children to connect and build their relationship. Of course, the parents are very appreciative of this opportunity.

Hope you enjoy this fun ministry event!

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