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After consulting with numerous churches over the years, I developed a philosophy on what I look for and what every area of a church’s ministry should be. I’ve written at length in the past about three things every children’s ministry must be (clean, safe, and secure). You can read the article HERE if you’re new to my writing. It’s a good read and very helpful for how you approach children’s ministry at your church.

Last week, this philosophy that I’ve taught all over the country came crashing down on me and put to the test. We had a kid (in-between services) that was running around (he knows he shouldn’t be running around) crash into another kid’s leg and knock his front tooth out. Uh oh!

Thankfully, of all the kids that this could have happened to, it was not a guest or visitor (thank God) and it was not someone spiritually immature (who would try to sue us or blow it out of proportion). It happened to one of our core leaders’ kids. They handled it very gracefully. They told their son he shouldn’t be running around and they didn’t make a scene or a fuss (thank God).

They did however, email myself and our Kids Pastor and voiced their concern for kids being unsupervised in-between services and running around wild. They asked us to address this concern and mentioned that it was a blessing that this didn’t happen to a visitor’s kid. I assured them we would look into the situation and that I would meet with our Kids Pastor last Wednesday and work on a game plan.

The truth is our kids are not unsupervised in-between services. There are no organized activities for them (which is something we may need to work on), but they are supervised. However, as we all know: perception is reality. If our kids ministry is perceived as not safe (remember the Big 3 in Children’s Ministry: clean, SAFE, and secure), then we have a problem. This was the first time that I noticed something happening at my church which went against what I believe and share with other church leaders. We had broken the rule of the Big 3 (at least in perception).

So, I met with our Kids Pastor and we brainstormed ways to remedy the situation and ways for him to reach out to the concerned parents and let them know that we are on top of things and working hard to make sure something like this never happens again.

Folks, if parents come to drop off their kids for a service and they see something that appears to be unsafe (kids running around wild and screaming) –

  1. They are either going to turn around and leave.
  2. Stay and be nervous and anxious the entire service. Not able to concentrate.
  3. Drop their kids off, endure it and then never return.

Why am I sharing this with you, dear church leader? As always, I’m here to help. I’m here for the Kingdom and I want your church to succeed. If you do not focus on the Big 3 and execute each well on a weekly basis, you’ll never see the kind of church health and growth that you are capable of. So, learn from our mistake and address these issues with your team.

*** FYI – The picture above is of a couple who works in our children’s ministry. The man is wearing a security t-shirt for our Kid City (we take kids security pretty seriously at my church). The woman is wearing a Kid City t-shirt that our teachers wear.

Greg Atkinson

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