“Let the children come to me.”
Children’s ministry is an important focus area for many churches. After all, it is essential for churches to speak into the lives of the little ones.
Did you know that the children’s areas play a crucial factor in determining how dynamic the children’s ministry is at your church? Yes, indeed! The children’s spaces need to be strategically set up to ensure that parents feel happy, kids stay entertained and volunteers work efficiently.
Here are 12 practical tips that can help you ensure that your portable church facility is a fantastic venue for your children’s ministry.
Establishing a secure environment
Ensuring the safety of children needs to be a top priority for any church. Parents must be able to completely trust you with their little ones. Here are some key pointers to make sure that happens:
1. Find a space that can be blocked off from the main meeting areas. This ensures that no unwanted people can walk in.
2. Set up a check-in and check-out system outside the kids’ area. Upon check-in, each child is handed a name tag that identifies both the child and the parent(s). At the end of the service, the child should be handed over to the adult who dropped him/her off. Check-in units give parents the confidence that their children are safe during the service.
3. Protect kids from potential hazards. Electrical outlets and cables that are on the floors or sitting low on the walls should be secured and covered.
4. Get volunteers to monitor security. Volunteers must monitor the entry and exit points to ensure that children don’t wander off and strangers don’t come in. In fact, they should stay alert till all the families have left the building after the service.
5. Have an evacuation plan in place. Emergency procedures need to be created, periodically reviewed, and most importantly, clearly communicated to volunteers and parents.
Setting up wisely
Think about the layout, setup and use of facilities at the venue beforehand. The following tips can help your volunteers function more efficiently:
6.Cater to growth. Your children’s areas should be able to accommodate a sudden increase in the number of kids. Furniture should be easily movable to create additional space, when needed. Be sure to adhere to the recommended square foot area per child.
7. Set up different areas for different ages. The facility should have at least two areas for elementary and preschool kids. If your church meets in a movie theater, your children’s spaces could be spread across the lobby, hallways or in multiple theater rooms.
8. Use the facility’s areas and equipment prudently. Launching in a school often means that you have access to the desks, chairs, projector etc. The big screens in the theater, on the other hand, double up as impactful teaching tools. Some venues might also allow you to use any unused areas/rooms to store equipment during the week.
9. Have a separate restroom for kids. Children should not need to walk a long way to the restroom – especially where they can disrupt the service! A restroom within or near the kids’ areas makes cleaning up after a messy activity or snack easy. A dedicated restroom for kids is also important for security purposes.
Creating a welcoming atmosphere
A welcoming church environment plays a key role in making kids, and their parents, feel right at home. Parents will be hesitant to drop off their kids to an area that looks untidy or dingy. Here are a few things you can do to transform your kids’ areas into a clean and comfortable space:
10. Set up the children’s space well in advance. An untidy room will tell parents that you are disorganized and not prepared to take care of their children. Set up the areas to look neat and amazing, and make a great first impression. Keep in mind that kids who are in school all week, will not see sitting in a similar classroom setup over the weekend as fun.
11. Use banners and signs to make your church easily navigable. Clearly mark the check-in station outside the children’s area with a prominent banner. Make sure the signs are facing the entrance, so that they are not missed when families enter your portable church. In fact, when an attendee is standing at the first sign with directions, he/she should be able to clearly see the next sign. When he/she arrives at that second sign, the third should be clearly visible, and so on.
12. Use bright colors and graphic wall panels. Dingy walls or inappropriate posters are a big no-no! Colorful signs, props and toys can help change a space into a clean, comfortable and exciting environment. Scuba walls and graphic wall panels are great for hiding anything unsightly, and transforming the area into an awesome space!
You want to create an environment that has kids wanting to come back each week. All these tips can help you transform your portable church venue into a creative and secure environment for children!
The Portable Church teams have helped tons of churches launch and set up in all kinds of unique, portable venues. If you want help in finding and moving into the right facility for your church, call us at 800.939.7722 today, and we’ll help you find the perfect venue to launch in.