In the world we live in, security is important—especially as a parent considering my child’s safety. When it comes down to it, it’s difficult to trust anyone with your kids. But trusting people outside of your home and immediate family is usually even harder.
Once you become a parent, it’s not that you want to distrust people with your kids, you simply begin to see the world differently. What once seemed to be only a place of exploration and wonder, now also has the potential to significantly hurt or mislead your children.
Children’s ministers, we as parents appreciate you and are so thankful for your testimony and ministry to our children. You are a vital part of their growth and knowledge of what it means to be part of the Body of Christ.
And with kidmin being the heartbeat of the church, it’s so important that the parents coming in discover that they can trust your ministry. It will keep them engaged and invested with your church.
Our Children Deserve Protection
First things first, children deserve protection. Church should be a safe place to learn about Jesus, have community with their friends, and grow to learn what it means to be part of the Body of Christ and God’s kingdom.
If they are not protected in the process, then early on it begins to taint their view of the Church and of God. So, know who your volunteers are, get background checks, know the traumas (or even abuse) the kids in your ministries have faced, and have security measures in place to protect the children who enter your building—all of them.
We are talking more than physical safety—it includes mental health safety too. (This is why investing in your volunteers’ spiritual growth is important too!)
Parents care about your safety policies because they care about the safety of their children.
Our Children Trust You
If there’s anything that whispers in our ears us as parents, it’s that our children wholeheartedly trust you. And don’t get us wrong, we’ll grow to trust you too—but it will take us a little longer. You ask them to go with Mr. Josh to play, and they will. You ask them to let Ms. Heather take them to the bathroom, and they go.
This is why it’s important to have security measures in place, because our they trust that you will keep them safe. They don’t exactly process it that way, but that’s the truth. They don’t expect to go to church and experience trauma or potential danger—they expect to go and worship and have fun with the community they’ve found there!
And not only do they trust you, but they look up to you. Always remember that! You’re helping shape children’s identities, whether you realize it or not!
Parents Want to See that You Care
Different parents face different challenges and worry about different things. But overall, it’s important to us that you care. It’s beyond doing something because it’s required—it’s important that you care while doing it.
For example, can a new attendee trust that you’ll not only keep her children safe while they are with you, but that you’ll also care for them in the process? Can she trust that they won’t be wandering the halls alone, or released to another adult?
You see—you never know what a family is facing, unless they tell you. But no matter what you know or don’t know, security measures show parents that you will care about their children. And when you care for their children, they will stay devoted to your church, because they know their kids are loved and protected when they are with you.
Parents Want to See that You’re Responsible
If we go back to the beginning of this article, we talk through trusting others with our children. If your church doesn’t have a security policy available, a lack of trust will grow. In today’s world, unfortunately, not having those measures in place will feel irresponsible.
It’s also important that your volunteers know your policies and are be able to point parents to the policies when asked about them.
But don’t be discouraged if your church doesn’t have one yet. You can start small implementing safety measures (you likely already do this!).
And many churches have security measures in place, but don’t necessarily think about them in that way. We have an article about creating a handbook that can help you get started listing them out.
Additionally, in a world of social distancing, it’s important that you are taking their safety to heart. The CDC has guidelines that can help! We also have articles on the kinds of policies that can help, if you haven’t finalized your preventative measures.
Parents Want to See that You’re Prepared
As parents, it’s important to us that you’ve adequately prepared yourself and your volunteers to protect our children while they are with you (even virtually). We don’t expect you to have all the answers to all of life’s questions or possibilities. But we do want to be assured that the safety of our children is never an after-thought.
Taking the proactive approach to share safety measures and policies with parents, helps us rest easier that you have our children’s best interest at heart. This is not only for their spiritual growth, but for their physical and mental safety as well.
Parents are rooting for you and want your ministry to succeed, but they also want to know that the safety of their children is a priority in that success.
Thank you for all you do as kidmin leaders and volunteers! You are an integral part of God’s life-transforming work.