Ever since my wife and I had kids we have lived a significant way away from family. From personal experience I know how valuable the ministry of a parent’s night out can be. Not being accessible to the grandparents for some sweet snuggle time with their grand-littles I know parents enjoy having some quiet time to themselves. Can your church plan a parent’s night out?
Here are some tips to help you plan and pull off a parents night out.
- Volunteers. Of course, you can’t pull this off without volunteers. Since our parents’ night out events were a huge outreach to our community we always asked our parents to help staff these events … with one simple rule. If you volunteer to serve one night during the course of events, you could participate for a reduced fee. Honestly some parents didn’t volunteer and that was OK, they just paid the same rate as everyone else. Since most everyone wanted to participate, we always had a great group of leaders and those that needed that break always got it too. We actually had some adults who used this opportunity to serve as their “night out!”
- Events. Make sure you have a plan for the time when the kids are there. We played life-size board games for many of our parent’s nights out. You can find several examples with a quick internet search. Most of these games are not very hard to put together and the kids will have a blast. Plus, you can save them and re-use them the next time you have an event.
- Bible. Be sure that whatever you do, you include a time of Bible study. Most of our parent’s nights out had themes and we built a Bible story into each of those themes. Our event typically had four or five rotations. Game, Bible, Crafts, Snack, and Recreation. Over the course of the four hours we provided care for kids, they would rotate between those five stations. Much like traditional rotation models, you have one main leader and other leaders who stay in the room and lead that event for each group that comes through.
- Protect. Use your church’s security plan to protect the children in your care. A parents’ night out event might be a little more like VBS to staff as far as security measures but it will be worth it for you and the kids.
Since you may be reaching families that are not part of your church ministry this event can be one of the greatest outreach ministries your church does through the year. Take some time and give it a good plan and reach out to those parents who need some time to relax and enjoy one another.
Tim Pollard teaches 3rd-6th graders Explore the Bible: Kids Worship on Sunday nights at Tulip Grove Baptist Church. He’s passionate about helping kids dig deep into Scripture, which he pursues through his daily work as leader of the Explore the Bible: Kids team. Tim lives with his wife and daughters in Mount Juliet, TN.