Modern Paging Systems Connect Parents and Church Nurseries
As houses of worship continue to expand and add families to their congregations, they are also adding new services in ever-growing buildings and campuses. In the largest churches, the nursery or Sunday school may be some distance away from the main congregation hall. And, for many young children, the church nursery may be their first experience in a formal childcare setting, away from the reassuring presence of their parents. Often, right in the middle of a sermon, a child may need something that only a parent can provide. And, of course, even in the most attentive nursery, accidents can happen.
So, how can nursery staff quickly contact parents who might be quite a distance away, or even in another building, without disrupting services for everyone else? For more and more churches, the answer is a discreet, private paging system.
Familiar, Easy-to-Use Technology
Most people are familiar with the paging systems used by restaurants. Each customer waiting for a table is given their own pager, and when their table opens up, restaurant staff sends a radio signal to a specific pager. This same technology is now being implemented by churches, most often as a link between the nursery and parents in the congregation.
When parents check their children into the nursery or Sunday school, they are given a numbered, pocket-sized pager that can be set to a silent, vibrate mode. If church staff needs to reach parents quickly, they simply press the corresponding button on a numbered control panel to summon parents.
Advantages for Staff and Parents
This high-tech method has a number of advantages.
Nursery or Sunday school staff can remain with the group of children instead of sending someone to seek out parents. Worship services and other adult activities aren't interrupted by a staff member looking for parents. Parents can have peace of mind during services or classes, knowing that the staff can inform them on a moment's notice if they are needed by their children. And, these systems can be designed to span even the largest campuses, making one-to-one, staff-to-parent communication instantaneous.
Beyond the Nursery
Private paging systems can also be used for quick and easy communication among church staff.
Some systems allow for numeric codes to be sent to pagers, or groups of pagers. In this way, security staff can be alerted of different situations. Sunday school staff can be told when to prepare children for departure. Parking staff can be alerted when the congregation is preparing to leave.
The possibilities are really only limited by the needs and imagination of the church.
Features to Consider
There are several manufacturers of paging systems, offering a variety of features and functions. Here are a few things to consider when selecting a system for your church:
1. Number of Pagers
Some systems are limited in the number of pagers you can use with the system, while others allow expandability up to 1,000 pagers or more. Make sure you select a system that can handle your needs for today and tomorrow.
Know how far your paging system must reach to cover your entire church or campus. Also be aware that walls and other obstacles can affect range.
3. Group Paging
If you have a need to page groups of people all at once, be sure to select a system that can support this need. There are paging systems available that can communicate with groups at the press of a button, instead of signaling each pager individually.
4. Recharge Capability
Some paging systems use traditional batteries, while others have recharging stations that recharge each pager's internal power system. Be sure to select a system that gives you the most for your money and meets your specific needs.
5. Other Features
In addition to paging, some systems provide monitoring of doors, windows, kitchen freezers, and other systems. When a door is opened, these systems can alert staff if necessary.
A modern paging system can be an important part of any church's technology investment. It's a simple way to help the congregation feel more connected to their kids. It can help staff communicate silently and efficiently. It can provide added security in emergencies. And, it can be tailored to the exact needs of your particular church often for a surprisingly small investment.
Eric Bolt is with Bolt Communications, www.boltcom.com.
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