Making your KidMin new family friendly: Idea #1
If I were to let them, my kids would spin around revolving doors like a carnival ride until they puked. I'm not sure they even realize that revolving doors are for the purpose of entering and exiting buildings. They treat them more like a cheap carnival ride, cramming as many people as they can into a single compartment and spinning it as fast as it will go. If you're a kid, revolving doors are great! But if you're a KidMin leader, not so much. Most of us have watched as new families come into our ministry for the first time, then leave almost as quickly, never to be seen again. To be fair, there are a number of reasons that a new family might not return, and many of them are beyond the control of a KidMin leader. But often times, without realizing it, we do things (or don't do things) that contribute to their sudden disappearance. So how do you slow the rotation of the revolving door? Great question! I love your go-get-em attitude! I have 4 ways that can help make your KidMin more "new family friendly." I'll focus on one at a time. Why? Because each of the 4 ways deserves it's own ink. And if you're going to make effective changes, you really should consider each of them one at a time and create a plan for implementation. So, with that said, here's the first: Make it clear from the first moment where a new family should begin. Here's a little exercise for you. Walk through your church's front doors as if you were new to the church. Look around the lobby. Is there anything that tells you where to go or what to do with your kids? Probably not. How do I know that? Because I've been to enough new churches with my kids. Put yourself in their shoes for a minute. You pull into an unfamiliar parking lot. You walk into an unfamiliar building. You're surrounded by a sea of unfamiliar faces. You're about to walk into an unfamiliar sanctuary, but in the meantime, you're trying to figure out what to do with your kids. Do you take them into the sanctuary with you? Do you check them into the children's ministry? Where is the children's ministry? If you want to make your new families feel comfortable, make it clear from the moment they walk through the doors where they should go with their kids. If you're like most churches, the first stop for a new family is the registration desk. (We'll talk more about the registration process in the next blog.) Ideally, the registration desk would be easily visible from the front doors with a large sign that says something like, "New Families Start Here." If the layout or physical space of your church doesn't allow for that, then there should be clear signage that directs new families to the right place. Important aside: Just remember that your 8 1/2 x 11 sign might be obvious to you, but it's not obvious to a new family. When a new family walks into an unfamiliar church, everything is new. If you want their eyes to be drawn to a sign, it really needs to stand out. Make it big. Make it beautiful. Make it professional. And for heaven's sake, people, please don't use comic sans. Aside finished. Here a couple of bonus ideas for free: Maybe your KidMin registration desk isn't in the front lobby, but does the lobby have a general info desk with a staff person or volunteer? Have your big, beautiful, comic sans free sign direct new families to that desk instead. The staff person or volunteer can personally walk the new family to the KidMin registration desk. Maybe you don't have space in your lobby for a desk of any kind. Big whoop! It's the 21st century. Your registration system doesn't need to be tied down to a cumbersome desk with faux wood paneling anymore. Any registration system worth it's weight should work on an iPad. Give the iPad to a volunteer and put them in the lobby next to the "New Families Start Here" sign. When finished registering, the volunteer can personally escort the new family to their next destination. Or maybe use any combination of those ideas. Or none of those ideas. Or all of those ideas. Or make up your own ideas. Whatever you do, though, do something before that revolving door mercilessly launches another kid from your church!