Feb 8, 2012

7 Children's Ministry Guidelines You Can't Afford Not to Follow

Here are 7 guidelines that you can't afford not to follow.  These are things that can make or break your Children's Ministry.
  1. No one is ever allowed to be alone with a child.
  2. There must be two volunteers present before opening up a classroom for check-in.
  3. All potential volunteers must pass a background check and personal interview before they can begin serving.
  4. Parents must have a matching security tag to pick up their child.
  5. Guests get the very best treatment.  Roll out the red carpet.
  6. Use direct communication.  When problems, issues, or conflict arises, go directly to the person(s) involved.
  7. Respond within 48 hours to phone calls and emails.
What other guidelines are critical to Children's Ministry?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Posted by Dale Hudson


Never let technology completely replace personal contact.

I have to disagree with the first one. It's a guideline most church children's ministries hold essential. We need to protect kids from abuse, but all too often, the reason behind the guideline is to protect ourselves from false accusations and litigation. In medicine, making decisions based on the perception medical professionals might otherwise be sued is called defensive medicine. When we make that safety guideline an absolute, I fear we've settled for defensive ministry.

I object to this rule being an absolute because it's not always about protecting the kids. It's also common for professionals who work with kids in other settings - like schools and therapists - to meet with kids privately, so the church advocating never taking that risk frustrates me. Furthermore, one-on-one relationships are critical components of many programs for at-risk kids (think Big Brothers, Big Sisters). We have a similar mentoring program at our church where kids are frequently alone with an adult. There are additional risks, yes, but the benefits are worth it.

Let's do what we need to protect kids. But let's also evaluate whether a guideline that says "no one" is "ever" alone with a child is really what Christ calls us to.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Michelle. Very valid points. For us, we realize it only takes one situation to destroy the ministry and testimony so we decided to err on the side of caution. If you do meet with children one-on-one, I would make sure it is in a highly visible place and not behind closed doors. Appreciate your ministry. Blessings.

i do agree with the no child left alone, because my child was a victim at kids camp and it was an eye opener, this person was a family person with kids and a wife, trust me being over cautious is just being wise and protective...like you said, it only takes once.

I have a question about #4. Do you have suggestions about insuring secure, individual pick up when everyone wants to pick them up at the same time?

We check the parent and child tag as they are exiting in a single file line. It moves quickly.

I'm not sure I quite understand 4 or necessarily the need for it?

In the ministries I'm involved in we know who picks the kids up regularly and there is someone on the door to check that they are with the right adult. Is it necesary to tag the children? It seems a little and impersonal to say the least. Or have I got the wrong end of the stick????

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