Jacksonville College

Making plans to reopen children’s ministry? This resource can help

May 27th, 2020 / By: Grace Thornton / comments

Making plans to reopen children’s ministry? This resource can help

As churches across Texas are making plans for how to reopen, one big question they’re facing is this — when and how should we restart our children’s ministry?

The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention recently published a resource to address this question based on current conversations and consultation with children’s ministry leaders around the state.

The suggestions included:

  • Give plenty of advance notice of what parents should expect. Use multiple communication channels to get this information out.
  • Communicate effectively with parents to help them know the “why” of what the ministry is doing and eliminate confusion by putting everything they need to know in one downloadable document.
  • Set up your check-in area to make social distancing measures clear (for example, put tape on the floor to indicate how families should line up).
  • Follow county recommendations for wearing masks and have hand sanitizer readily available. 
  • Use screening questions and take the temperature of any adult or child entering the ministry area. Once they’re in, keep watch for symptoms of illness.
  • Consider asking parents to bring a labeled zip-lock bag instead of diaper bags or backpacks.
  • Deep clean the area regularly, including doorknobs, half-door shelves and tables. Disinfect equipment and don’t allow children to share supplies like markers or crayons. 
  • Limit the capacity of elevators and discontinue the use of water fountains.
  • Adjust schedules to allow time for cleaning in between services. Use activities that encourage kids to keep social distancing guidelines, such as crafts or games that keep them at separate tables and sitting apart.
  • Temporarily suspend sending items home with children after class.
  • Don’t give out snacks, even if the parent provides the snacks.
  • Everyone should wash their hands before entering or exiting the room and periodically throughout the class time.

The resource also noted that preschool ministries should be one of the last to go back to meeting regularly, as preschoolers aren’t able to self-regulate when it comes to social distancing. When they do return, volunteers should wear gloves when changing diapers or assisting preschoolers in the restroom and wash their own hands before and after. They should also wear shoe covers and oversized, button-up overshirts that can be changed if they get dirty.

To view the entire list of recommendations, visit https://sbtexas.com/regathering-for-preschool-and-childrens-ministries/. For more information, contact Karen Kennemur at https://sbtexas.com/staff-directory/.