I woke up this morning to many questions around Covid-19 (CoronaVirus) and the Church. Questions from how to keep kids safe, how to talk to kids/parents, to what our response should be if a mandated ban on gathering is enforced in my area. If you are leading in Children’s Ministry, you, yourself have most likely paused and listened to the narrative and have asked yourself these very same questions. As the Resource Manager here at INCM I can tell you that we are asking those questions as well.
We have reached out to many of you in the community asking, “How are you dealing with the potential issues? How is your church as a whole responding? and What are your biggest concerns right now?” Leaders from all over have responded with this same thought: “Fear is the enemy. We will not let fear run our services. We will be flexible and honor the mandates. We will be the church and care for our people.”
Friends, let’s pause for a moment and remember this:
We are not meant to live in fear. We are not meant to stand still. We look to the Lord for guidance and prepare to take the next step.
Fear can be powerful. It’s gripping the hearts of so many. I am sure you can think of a few reports on toilet paper and water shortages, but the fears don’t match the concern. Parents want to know how you plan to keep their children safe while they’re at church, or if it’s even safe to come to church.
It’s our role to support our families with truth and knowledge that will help them make informed decisions. It’s also our job to be an example and do the best we can with the knowledge and instructions we have been given. So we clean more frequently and thoroughly, we ask for hands to be washed, and we elbow bump and wave instead of a handshake and a hug. And we must remember that God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble, therefore we will not fear (Psalm 46:1-2a).
Let’s encourage each other to cling to this truth! Let’s spread hope to those that are afraid. Let’s ask the important questions, follow the guidelines we are given and do our best to help the people in our communities!
Pastor Alex Tarin from Venture Church in Snohomish, Washington, has shared how he and his church will proceed while under a gathering mandate:
- Offer an online option for kids.
- Have links available for the worship songs you planned to sing.
- Share your lesson and activities
- Encourage kids to leave prayer requests and questions in the comments.
- Record your service
- Film your Sunday service for kids and provide PDF Links of your take-home sheet and any Q&A you may have.
If you are proceeding with service, here are a few things to consider:
- Remind your leaders of the health protocols you have already established.
- Prepare information to send out to parents regarding your protocol for Illnesses.
- If you celebrate communion, think through how to make it safer for those who partake.
- Post signs around hand washing areas to wash for 20 seconds with a fun song to sing or repeat:
- Say the Lord’s Prayer.
- Sing Happy Birthday 2x
- I’ve got the Joy Joy Joy Joy (down in my heart)
We have compiled a list of useful Links to help equip you as you navigate your next step.
Free Training and Checklist
How to Communicate
How Churches are Preparing
Talking to Kids about CoronaVirus.
What practices can be useful?
What do we need to know about the virus and our kids?
Free Resource from Lifeway
Yanet Coombes serves the Children’s Ministry community as the INCM Resource Manager. Her dedication to Children’s Ministry started seventeen years ago when she was called to serve as Ministry Director in her local church. Yanet is fiercely devoted to her husband of eighteen years, her four children and her not-so-little mastiff, Hazel.