Raising up future generations to carry on the mission of the church is a huge and exciting responsibility! We as church leaders want to do all we can to develop kids who are Christ-followers and disciple-makers.
So, how do we create environments for this to happen that will allow for both the kids and the parents to feel the same sense of security they would feel in a permanent facility, as well as cultivate an experience where young lives can be shaped by the life of Jesus?
We want to provide some insight on how to transform your church into the best kids’ ministry environments they can be. And it starts in the nursery with the babies.
Make a Good First Impression
We all know how important first impressions and gut feelings are. KidMin spaces may be the biggest of impressions that determine the return of a new visiting family.
Bad first impressions are a hard thing to shake, so be sure the first impression they have of your nursery is that it is a safe, clean, and welcoming place. A place where they feel their babies will be cared for and loved on for years to come.
Here is a checklist you can use to evaluate the first impressions new visitors get from your nursery.
- Is it clean or cluttered? What are the first things seen as you approach the doorway? Is it stacked desk legs pointing in the air? “Spirit” posters? Something else? Move or cover up the messy spaces so they are completely hidden/unseen. If that’s not possible, at least arrange them so they are the last things seen.
- Stage the room so the first visitor arriving sees everything organized and inviting, not “pre-played” in. This not only shows parents your attention to detail but also helps put volunteers in the right “attention to every detail” mindset.
- Playpanels are a great resource for nursery classrooms. They are still the single most portable-friendly way to set up a nursery and also create a significant barrier/parameter for the children to stay inside of. This plays into the safety factor for the parents to know right away that their children won’t have access to any classroom supplies.
- Does your kid’s registration area give off a good first impression? Make sure it is organized, clean, and that you have the right volunteers (aka personalities) manning the check-in station.
Theme It Out!
Your kid’s ministry, in general, is a great opportunity for you to share the voice, culture, and values of your ministry. We highly encourage you to have a theme or a kid’s ministry brand identity throughout your classrooms. Some examples are:
- Signs with your room/ministry theme.
- Giant custom branded backdrops. We recommend having at least one large graphic wall and the rest solid color.
- If you have lockers, use magnetic lettering on signage to make them more appealing.
- Add signage to your TV cases.
- Add signage to the backs of cases and use in hallways or classrooms to provide extra direction or block off hallways.
Other Hacks and Tips
We’ve been helping churches thrive for over 25 years now, and we have learned much through new innovations and trial and error. Here are some other nursery wins that we have discovered along the way:
- Invest in durable things that collapse. We’ve spent decades finding or inventing things that stack and fold. This allows for more environmental pieces that move easily and take up minimal space in storage.
- Colored carpet circles help define gathering spaces and create both beautiful and functional environments. Using multiple colors allows you to assign meeting spaces for small group time.
- Did you know there are Playpanels with pockets for art display? This creates a fun showcase for your kid’s masterpieces!
- Use Kin-der-links for their versatility! These unique and highly versatile stools are used as a chair or a desk and can be linked to create a circle or zig-zag pattern or can be separated and used for independent play.
- Storage is key. PCI Cases are designed to keep all your kidmin gear in the best of shape. Likely even a bigger bonus is that they are designed to make it fast and easy to set your spaces up. This leads to volunteer happiness and retention!
At the end of the day, your nursery is as great as the effort you put into it.
This information is courtesy of Portable Church Industries, which has helped thousands of churches launch strong and thrive in a mobile setting for more than 25 years, www.portablechurch.com.