Making your KidMin new family friendly: Idea #4
I love getting emails! No...not the ones from the Nigerian prince. (Btw...I'm still waiting to hear back from you Prince Otumfuo. Did you get my money transfer?) I'm talking about emails from my blog followers and the fast growing community of GO! curriculum users. I recently got an email from Michelle Ross. She's a GO! user and her story highlights one of the best ways you can get new families to return and stick to your church. A few weeks ago, Michelle had 2 new kids visit her KidMin. Their family was attending because of a baby dedication. This is what Michelle told us: "At the end of service, I overheard the 2nd grade boy say to his mom “WE HAVE TO COME BACK TO THIS CHURCH.” I heard through their friend, that he and his sister asked every day the entire week if they could come back this past Sunday. Guess who showed up on Sunday with big smiles on their faces. Their mom said she had no choice, they literally drug her back to church. I love that the kids are having so much fun learning about Jesus that they can’t stay away.” I like to imagine this mom being drug into the church with disheveled hair, torn clothes, and a missing shoe. Maybe it wasn't quite that dramatic, but nevertheless, her kids insisted on coming back. They wouldn't have it any other way. So far, I've shared a number of ideas on how to make your KidMin new family friendly for the parents. (If you've missed any, you can find them here.) But it's just as important (and maybe more) that you win over the kids. So how do you do that? You make it fun! Fun--that's the currency of kids. They don't usually have the maturity to do something because it's good for them or because they see the spiritual value in it. They want to do things because they're fun. If your KidMin isn't fun, most kids won't want to go. And if they don't want to go, their parents often times don't make them. Instead, they sit in the service with their parents, or the family goes to another church, or they stop going to church altogether. There are a lot of ways to make your KidMin more fun, but a good place to start is with the curriculum. Typically, 90% or more of what a kid does in your KidMin is directed by the curriculum. So if the curriculum isn't fun, guess what? Ain't nobody havin' fun! When I was a KidMin director, I wrestled with this more than anything. I could find curriculum with great content, but my kids were bored with it. I could also find curriculum that was fun and engaging, but it lacked the Biblical depth I wanted for my kids. If this is something you wrestle with in your KidMin, you should give GO! a try. Seriously! I created it with the belief that Biblical depth and fun are not mutually exclusive. Your curriculum can and should have both. Just ask Michelle Ross! Her curriculum does have both and now the new kids are dragging their parents through their church doors like rag dolls!