How safe are the kids in
your ministry? Do you excuse children midway through a worship
service, without parental supervision, to go to children's ministry
programs? Do you have parents check their children into and out of
your classrooms or ministry areas? Do you excuse children from
classes at a set time without requiring parental check-out? Do you
track medical and special care concerns? Do you track the people
who are authorized to pick up a child?
These questions can be tough to think about
for a church not using a check-in system of some kind. However,
whether big or small, all churches need to do their best to look
after their children, and a check-in system is a great starting
point. In fact, I'd say it's a necessity in today's world. If your
church doesn't have a check-in system, read on. Here are three
things you need to know about check-in systems.
1. Parents are looking for safety
"We are a culture that values the safety of
our kids…If parents come in and perceive that this is not a safe
place for their children, they will not bring them."-Jody Brolsma,
Executive Editor/VBS Champion at Group.
Today's parents are not as likely to simply
drop off their children to someone they've never met. Parents want
to know their kids are safe, and a check-in system or policy will
help ease their concerns- and keep your ministry out of hot
2. Check-in processes are
Some fear that by implementing a check-in
system, too much time is being taken out of Sunday school. In his
'Em In and Out, David Posthuma talks about one horror story
where a family had to wait 35 minutes to get their three children
checked in. But that doesn't have to be the case. David
shares some tips to make check-in systems quick and effective.
3. Not all professional check-in
systems are the same.
With so much at stake, it's a great idea to
look into professional check-in systems. Just like you'd do
research before buying a new curriculum, you have to do your
homework when looking at check-in systems. Many companies offer
different levels of service for different prices. Depending on your
needs, you're looking at roughly anywhere from $200 to $70,000.
Quite a gap, but the good news is that these providers offer many
options in this range so you can find what works best for you. And
if the thought of doing your homework hurts your head, don't worry!
We have a handy cheat sheet for you
And while we're talking about the safety of
our children, consider doing background checks on your volunteers.
Check out this
previous blog post where I talk with Melissa Towers, the Adult
and Church Leadership Product Manager for Group, about why it's so
important for churches to screen their volunteers.
What steps do you take to keep your kids safe?
Let us know using the comment section below! And if you've
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