You will never arrive. It will never be perfect.
Our programs and systems constantly need refining and tweaking. We did a major overhaul on our Child Dedication here at Gateway. What we’re doing now is amazing! This is special thanks to conversations I’ve had with fellow children’s pastors here on the blogosphere (most notably Gina McClain). On Saturday we’re doing another Child Dedication service. We’re going with what was already successful and we’ve made some minor changes.
On of the changes is that we’re increasing the ratio of pastors/leaders to families. I had families go up for prayer in five separate groups. This was too much time waiting for some families. This time I have only two groups. So at the longest, a family will have to wait ten minutes for their turn (unlike the 25-30 minutes last time). I’m also dismissing our families after they are prayed for. This means they don’t have to wait around. They’ll head out to the lobby, grab their Bible and certificate and be done. Last of all, I have a photographer this time. She’ll be taking pictures and putting the photos on our SmugMug site like we did for Easter. This will be a big win!
Oh, one other thing I tweaked. I’ve already made assignments. This morning I sent the list of kids being dedicated to the pastors/leaders who will be praying. They can start praying for these families by name even now. I’ve given them email and phone numbers as well just in case they want to call and introduce themselves. I’ve also let the parents know who will be praying for them so they are “more in the know.” I also tried something new. I gave my pastors/leader the meaning of the child’s name who is being dedicated along with a verse that represents the meaning. I’m letting the pastor/leader run with that and really make the prayer time personal.
Where did I get all the ideas for these changes?
- I took notes last time.
- I asked the parents from last time (I sent out a survey).
If you’re not taking notes for the sake of improvement or asking for feedback, you’ll be irrelevant and disconnected before you know it.
Keep fine tuning!
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Love the idea of pre-assigning the families. The pastors praying for, contacting and just generally knowing the family more before the dedication event. Great stuff! I’m challenged to figure out how to make that happen with my next one.
Btw… I totally stole Ned Gables (www.nedgable.com) homework he provides to parents. It leads them to write a letter to their child, identify a scripture for their child, etc, etc. I presented it as ‘tools’ for mom/dad to make this thing as meaningful as they choose to make it. It’s good stuff.
(thanks for the mention. honored and humbled to be a part.)
Ginas last blog post..New Toon Town Worship Videos
Yeah, the pre-assigning kids was an epic win. I’ll probably post about this later this week, especially if I can get some feedback from parents.