In my last post, I mentioned the two types of checklists:
Following specific pause points (click here to understand what pause points are), one of the above checklists follows. Where the Read-Do checklist operates by following specific steps (usually in order), like a recipe or assembly instructions, a Do-Confirm checklist is the opposite. You simply perform a task, something that you already know how to do or where steps are fairly obvious, and the checklist is read at a specific point to ensure that every step was followed or to ensure that nothing was forgotten.
The Do-Confirm checklist should be simple and to the point but perhaps points at more big picture items.
A Do-Confirm checklist might be followed just before leaving your house for an epic road trip.
- Did anyone lock the doors? Check!
- Did anyone reset the thermostat? Check!
- Did anyone turn off all the lights? Check!
- Did anyone grab the snacks from the refrigerator? Oops! I’ll be right back!
Our ministry is no different. There are many ways you can use Do-Confirm checklists. Your elementary small group leaders might have a set checklist they look at every week:
- Introduce any new kids to the group
- Collect offering and prayer requests
- Check-off attendance
However, you might have a specific Do-Confirm checklist specific to that week:
- Remind kids in group about upcoming baptism class
- Go over rules before departing for Large Group
- Pray for [insert specific need]
These items could possibly be done in any order and at any time, the checklist is just a reminder to make sure it happens. Here is a simple Do-Confirm checklists you might follow on a Sunday:
- Connect relationally wtih 2 leaders
- Connect relationally with 2 kids
- Connect relationally with 2 parents/families
- Meet one new person
- Invite someone to vision orientation
Here are some simple Do-Confirm checklists you might follow this week:
- Meet with 2 leaders for coffee
- Send notes/cards to 2 volunteers
- Set up weekend environments
- Clean/reorganize/stock classrooms
We would be wise to do these for monthly meetings, quarterly budgets, and yearly calendar planning as well.
But what if we went even bigger, and strategized family ministry wide, to identify key moments in the life of families, kids and teens to pause and assess if we’ve met specific goals that are key in our strategy to disciple kids and engage parents, from infancy to graduation and beyond?
For instance, consider the following potential pause points:
- New baby
- Kindergarten round-up
- Deciding to follow Jesus, accepting Christ as Savior
- Graduating elementary
- Starting High School
- High School graduation
- College years
We should be pausing at each of these pivotal moments to evaluate if we met basic goals while also utilizing them to equip and encourage both kids and their primary spiritual influencers, their parents.
Birth of a new baby: Refer to your Infancy Do-Confirm checklist to ensure that you continue to be intentional with parent-partnering opportunities that are important within the life and culture of our church. This might include connecting the new family to your Child Dedication class and ceremony.
Kindergarten: Kids and parents both are making a significant transition into a new phase of parenting and a new ministry environment at your church. A Do-Confirm checklist might provide an incredible opportunity to share the vision both for the ministry and how you can continue to partner with parents to make a meaningful impact in the heart and life of their child.
Choosing Jesus: Your baptism class is a great pause point to refer to a Do-Confirm checklist. Use this checklist to help parents know if their kids understand their decision and see evidence of their child’s spiritual transformation.
The same could be said for entering middle school, graduation from high school, and entering into adulthood! Each phase has intuitive moments that are perfect times to pause to evaluate that your ministry areas are making the most of each moment and phase in the life of both the kids you disciple and the parents you partner with.
This post is part of a larger series on moving your ministry forward using the often neglected tool - the checklist. In this series, we unpack how a system of checklists can actually help us take our ministry to new levels. Plus, we want to share dozens of actual ministry checklists you and your team can implement right away. Click on the link below to explore this topic and pick up some helpful resources!
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