Wednesday, August 31, 2022

New Questions for You to Ask

I'm old enough (experienced enough??!!!) to remember when we first began running background checks on volunteers for our Children's Ministries. It was new; and many established volunteers did not like it one bit. But, we did it, because it was the responsible thing to do and because the times demanded we do so.

I also remember when we began having parents sign in - and pick up their children to and from our Children's Ministries. I had several parents who strongly disliked having to do this. They felt insulted and like we were wasting their time - after all, we knew who they were and we knew who their children were, but we did it, because again, it was the responsible thing to do and the times demanded we do so. (As were more and more insurance companies.)

Now days it is basically a "given" churches will take these steps to protect the children in their Children's Ministry. But, there are a couple additional things we need to be doing.

One is, we need to keep record of the schools the children in our ministry are attending. I have lived in small towns where nearly all the children went to the same school - except for a few who went to Christian schools. I have also lived in larger cities where there are many schools the children from my church attended. If your church is in an area where you have children who attend a number of different schools, you need to keep track of which children attend which school. If there is a tragedy or some emergency, if you are able to go to your computer and at a click (or two) discover which families in your church are impacted by the events which are happening, you will be better able to provide help. Or, if you have new families moving to your area who are trying to decide what school to send their children to, if they ask which schools have children from your church in attendance, you will be able to answer if you collect and keep this information. This information helps you better serve the families in your church.

Do you know how many children are being brought to your ministry by their grandparents? Do you know which children would not be there if it were not for their grandparents? Do you know which grandparents are custodial grandparents? These grandparents - the ones who are bringing their grandchildren to church and the ones who have custody - are typically grandparents in a lot of pain as it is likely their son/daughter is not handing down the faith. If these grandparents do not hand down confident faith it is likely no one will be doing so. If these grandparents do not tell their grandchildren about Jesus, it is likely no one will. If these grandparents do not pray for their grandchildren, it is likely no one will. These grandparents often feel alone and tired - for good reason - they are often alone and tired. Do you know who they are? What are you doing to help them?

Well, these new questions are a reflection of our times - just as the first two were. If we do not ask them, we will not be able to provide the support and encouragement families need. Something for you to think about.

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