Whether you're changing churches or simply want to up the oomph factor in your children's programs, consider these signs of success:
- Staff, teachers, and other leaders see children as part of the church body. Ministries geared toward children should help them grow spiritually, rather than just babysitting the kids, filling time, or keeping the kids busy. Today's children are the next generation of Christians who will spread the Good News to a needy world. They need our help to get there.
- The church sees building lifelong relationships between children and Jesus Christ as a primary goal. Kids learn to love, obey, and spend time with their Creator.
- The program stresses safety and positive experiences as top priorities. Within the security of knowing they're safe, kids can enjoy the freedom of learning more about God and his personal involvement in their lives.
- The curriculum teaches children how to serve others. The world disseminates enough information geared toward self-interest. The message of Christ is one of denying ourselves and sacrificing for others out of love for the Savior.
- Classes are active and interactive. Sunday school doesn't have to be boring! Classes that focus on teaching by doing will help your kids remember what they've learnedand they'll want to go back week after week.
- Teachers genuinely care about children in their classes; in a quality program, you'll see the same teachers greeting children by name week after week.
- Teachers focus on worshiping God and teaching his Word. Good programs teach children to express their love to God in authentic worship, and to learn more about God through the Bible, his primary means of communicating with us.
Use this checklist to make sure that the youngest members of your family receive the finest care while you worship. Look for signs that your nursery is:
- Are electrical outlets covered?
- Are storage cabinets secured with childproof locks?
- Is access to restrooms and other no-no areas blocked from curious toddlers?
- Is the bedding in cribs clean and firm (to reduce the risk of SIDS)?
- Does the church do a background check on caregivers?
- Do they have a system for checking children in and out?
- Is there a plan for emergency care?
- Do workers use disposable liners on changing tables?
- Do nursery volunteers wash their hands frequently after changing diapers or before serving snacks?
- Does the church have a clear and tough "sick child" policy?
- Are the toys clean and of a size that won't present a choking hazard?
For more information of this survey, go to: www.teachingvalues.com/cgi-bin/character/character.cgi