8 Ideas for Reducing the Spread of Germs in Your Kids Ministry.
In response to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, many ministries have a heightened awareness of germ-spreading habits and the general cleanliness of their kids ministry areas. Many are taking measures to alter their regular routines to protect against the spread of germs and sickness. While there’s no need to panic, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared and take proactive steps to make people feel more protected. Here are eight practical things you can enact in your kids ministry this week to reduce the spread of various illnesses in your Children’s Wing.
- Do a Deep Clean – Regular cleaning routines include emptying trash cans, wiping tables, and sweeping floors. Deep cleans use industrial strength cleaners and disinfectants on door knobs, handrails, touch-screens, lightswitches, toys, and tabletops. Deep cleaning is best done during the week when your facility is empty. Deep cleaning takes time, but it is an effective way to kill germs that can spread illness.
- Prop Doors Open – Dirty door knobs can be touched by hundreds of hands during service times. Reduce the numbers of hands that handle them by using doorstops to prop them open, or by having designated greeters open doors for people.
- Limit Screen Touches at Check-in – If you use digital touch-screen stations for check-in, opt to assign volunteers to operate them. You may need to limit the number of stations that you use, but you will reduce multiple touches of germy screens.
- Omit Handshakes and High Fives – Temporarily do away with greetings that involve hand-to-hand contact. Instead of handshakes and high fives, opt for elbow touches, “air shakes” and foot fives. Challenge kids to invent creative ways to greet one other without touching hands.
- Avoid Passing the Plate or Shared-object Games – If you take an offering, replace passing the plate with a drop box. Choose games that do not require relays or object-passing. Look instead for games that can be played with individual objects and while maintaining space between kids.
- Spread Out – As much as possible, look for ways to move kids out of small, closed-quarters spaces into larger open areas. Opt for big rooms and encourage kids to sit with distance between them. Kids love doing class outside. Consider outdoor options if you can do them safely on your campus.
- Wipe Down Tables and Toys Between Services – If you have multiple services, and do not already do so, adopt a practice of wiping off toys, puzzles, and tables with disinfectant between groups.
- Wash Hands – Encourage all of your teachers, volunteers, and kids to wash their hands before and after service times. Provide hand sanitizer in each room. Make sure that your sinks and restrooms have plenty of soap and hand towels available.
The overriding principle is to look for ways to limit contact and keep surfaces clean. While these measures are not guaranteed to prevent any specific illnesses, they are good practices to employ in your kids ministry, particularly during seasons of heightened awareness.
CHUCK PETERS is director of operations for Lifeway Kids. He is a graduate of Columbia Bible College. A creative person by nature, Chuck’s unique combination of experiences in media production, business, and ministry has caused him to become an unexpected fan of strategy, data, and analysis in ministry. He lives outside Nashville with his wife and four kids.