Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Celebrating Milestones - Welcome Little Ones to Your Children's Ministry!

For the past few days I've been posting about celebrating milestones and reviewed two amazing resources to help your church do exactly this . . . Legacy Milestones and Group's Family Faith Celebrations. Both of these resources provide the information and tools you need to help the parents in your ministry understand their God-given role as the primary faith influencer in their child's life and to involve your entire church in celebrating milestones - Baby BlessingFaith CommitmentFirst Bible and Preteen Passage . . . all important moments in a child's and family's life and most certainly worthy of celebrating! 

Today I'd like to encourage you to celebrate another moment in a child's and family's life most certainly worthy of celebrating . . . when a child leaves the nursery and enters your children's ministry! Let's welcome children into our children's ministry . . . and use this moment to introduce their parents to the children's ministry in a way which will be proactive and potentially engage those parents from the "get-go"! Use this opportunity to . . . 
  • Introduce parents to your curriculum. Explain the scope and sequence and the reasons you use the curriculum you use. Walk the parents through any materials their child will bring home and help them fully understand how to get the most out of those resources by talking about them with their child.
  • Explain any children's ministry policies . . . what are your policies for dropping off/picking children up? How do any of your policies differ from those they are used to in the nursery?
  • Introduce the parents and the children to the volunteers and the new classrooms.
  • If you regularly involve the children in service projects to "Put Feet to Their Faith" - explain this aspect of your ministry to the parents and let them know which service projects their child will be involved in and give them some ideas of how they and their child might work together on those projects.
  • Share your vision, passion and plan for the children's ministry and how you want to come alongside the parents to help equip them as their child's primary faith influencer!
Too often we overlook this important moment, this milestone in a child's life and yet it is a wonderful opportunity to further equip parents and warmly welcome children to your children's ministry! Consider the following ideas for welcoming children to your children's ministry . . . 
  • Decorate the Three Year Old's Classroom with photos of the children who are entering the children's ministry!
  • Decorate the classroom with balloons (as long as there aren't any children with latex allergies), streamers and bright colors!
  • Have volunteers ready to warmly welcome children and invite them into their new classroom!
  • Plan a class time of "get-to-know-you" activities.
  • Invite parents to stay the first week so they are able to participate in the welcoming party as well.
  • Provide a special welcoming treat - something special for this important day!
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Make this moment, this milestone, something special as it is the beginning of a relationship with these children . . . a very important relationship in a very special place! We truly want to join with the parents in introducing their children to the most special relationship they will ever have . . . a personal relationship with Jesus! Most certainly worth celebrating!

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