It’s that time of the year … and I’m glad! Summer is over; Labor Day has passed, and our highest attendance days of the year are upon us. Fall not only brings our regular attending families back from vacations, but it also brings new families from our community for a first time visit.
Here are some things to consider that will help your ministry be “Family Welcoming.”
- The Parking Lot: Make sure families know how to get in your church the minute they drive in the parking lot. That might sound silly, but when I’ve visited churches sometimes it’s not clear where to go to get more information/directions. Parking lot greeters, family parking slots, and outside signage will help folks feel comfortable right off the bat.
- A Welcome/Greeting Area: As soon as families enter your church they need to be greeted and welcomed. They need to see exactly where to go to find more information and directions for their family.
- Personal Assistance: Don’t just tell parents where the kids are to go, take them. Folks like the personal touch. While escorting families, make sure parents understand safety and security procedures and how exactly their kids will be released.
- Family Friendly Teachers: Classroom leaders should be ready for families. Train your leadership to be personal, informative, and appreciative of the opportunity they get to lead their kids in Bible study.
- Good Signage: Invest in good signs. Families will need to know that they can get back to where they’ve left their kids. You know your facilities, but new families don’t. Also be intentional to use ministry names in your signage (Preschool Ministry; Children’s Ministry) instead of just room numbers. Knowing you’re going in the right direction is both helpful and welcoming.
I’ve never met a kid who drives himself to church. Parents (and other caring adults) bring kids, and we need to be sensitive, helpful, and welcoming to the families who come to our church.