8 Questions to Ask As You Plan for Re-Opening Kids’ Ministry

Can I start by saying I don’t have many answers? I recognize that isn’t helpful. Our teams are currently sorting all of this out just like you are. Our governor just gave us new guidance yesterday and there wasn’t a lot of change. Just like you probably have, I’ve read lots of online conversations and listened to a few webinars. While I may not have all the answers, I do have several key questions that I think we all need to ask.

  1. What is your local government saying? One of the hardest parts about having this conversation in the larger kidmin community is that every state is totally different. Even parts of states are different from each other. What guidelines have been outlined for your community?
  2. What are my local kidmin leader friends thinking? This is an excellent time to be best friends with other local leaders. Reach out and see what they are planning. This is not the time for churches to be in competition. This is the time for churches to work together for the good of their community.
  3. What do I need to do to sanitize before kids come and after kids come? Obviously hygiene and sanitization will play an even more important role in your ministry than they have in the past. You have to have a plan for how to clean everything, keep it clean, and communicate to parents that it is clean.
  4. What are your families going to be ready for? Again, every community is different and you will likely find varying opinions even within your community. However, it is important to gauge what parents in your church are thinking and feeling.
  5. What volunteers will I have available? Many of our volunteers are older and still considered in the vulnerable segment of the population. Some may not be ready to be around crowds.
  6. What does social distancing look like for kids? I will be honest that I have some pretty strong opinions about this. First, I can’t imagine a world where you can can get kids to stay six feet apart. But, even if you could, that does not sound like the warm, welcoming, and relational environments we know kids need. But, my opinions aside, you have to decide what is feasible for your church and even if social distancing is something you want to enforce with kids. Of course, there are also potential ramifications for not social distancing. It is a complicated issue.
  7. Will our church open kidmin right away or phase it in? Your answers to the previous two questions will determine this one, as well as intentional conversations with your fellow staff members. My buddy, Sam Luce, shares his church’s phased plan here.
  8. How can I use this opportunity to change what we do? You don’t have to go back to status quo. My pastor has said several times that this experience needs to be a reset button for the church rather than a pause button. In some ways, you get to restart with a clean slate. What do you need to do differently? What doesn’t have to come back? What lessons have you learned?

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