I think it’s important to clear up a few things about safety, security and risk management....Read More
One of the very best things we can do in our ministries is to create a safe place for kids when they’re with us. Yes, we want environments where kids can have conversation in confidence when that is needed, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Our actual environments need to be safe. We have to have a place where parents know and feel that their kids will be happy and whole when they come back to pick them up.
I wrote a post a few weeks about about this very issue, but from a slightly different perspective on the Lead Small Blog. Yes, if our environments aren’t safe, families won’t come back. We all get that. But sometimes perception is reality. You may have a safe environment and your volunteers might follow all the procedures, but there is a perception issue that is going to trip up some of your families. It’s important to recognize that our culture is becoming more and more skeptical and what may have worked five years ago doesn’t anymore.Read More
Today, we had a slight emergency. It was a great reminder about how carful we need to be in so many aspects of Children’s Ministry.
Every Sunday, we provide snacks like Cheerios and Goldfish to our preschool kids. To save money, we usually buy generic. We’ve been buying the generic version of Cheerios from a local grocery store for a couple of years now. However, a long-term volunteer brought a grave concern to us today. He said, “are you aware that the cheerios we’re feeding the kids could be contaminated with peanuts?” He handed us the box and there it was.
For years, we’ve been unaware. Probably lucky though, we currently don’t have any kids who are crazy allergic to peanuts, but I’ve had kids in the past who were. There’s not even a guarantee that a kid with peanut allergies would be affected by this product, but it could happen. So, we quickly pulled all the boxes and ran to the store and grabbed the name brand boxes (after checking the fine print of course).
You can never be too careful. Read the fine print and hold safety as a top priority!
Because of the events last week in Connecticut where innocent children were killed, most everyone who works with kids is thinking, “what if that happened in the place where I work?” If you haven’t had this thought, you should. We are charged to take our role as both physical and spiritual guardians very seriously and we should do everything we reasonably can to make our ministry environments a safe place for the kids who come.
So, before I write any more content on this subject and before you read any further, ask yourself this question. Where are the weak spots in your ministry? Where are the places that need to be shored up to keep your kids, families and volunteers safe. I’m crazy about safety and over the weekend, several areas came to mind, things we can do better or ways we can make our ministry area more secure. What comes to your mind?
Here’s the challenge. Take action on at least one thing this week. Bust it out and make it happen. It’s worth the effort and if it’s a public change, it communicates good things to parents.Read More
The last couple of days, I’ve been talking about creating safe environments within your children’s ministry. It’s too important to “wing it” or think that the chances of something happening are slim, so it’s not worth getting so particular about everything.
Today I simply wanted to introduce a couple of non-negotiables. Hopefully, if you read this, you’re already doing these things. I’d love to hear back from some of you and know what your non-negotiatbles are.
- Background check and screen all workers – This doesn’t matter if they work every week, once a month or two times a year. If they have access to kids, they need to go through the process. What about having parents come in and help? This is an area where some people fudge a little. I’m obstinate about this.
Last week I I wrote a post about close calls in ministry, how they’re more often celebrated as successes rather than serious warnings. My general concern is that far too many churches are playing with fire. Either a lack of knowledge or a lack of organization often leaves far too many opportunities for bad things to happen in the church. More often than not, bad things don’t happen. A policy goes ignored for years because it doesn’t seem really all that critical and nothing has ever really happened anyway. As leaders in ministry to kids, we have to be better than this my friends. It’s far too important not to have guardrails in your ministry. I know that for many of you, I’m preaching to the choir, but I also know that there are many who have not closed these gaps yet. Here are a few reasons why you must have guardrails in your ministry:Read More
I read a very interesting article in Wired Magazine last month titled “The Fire Next Time.” The whole article is about our tendency to see near misses and close calls as successes or lucky breaks. We can take a cue from hollywood. Pretty much every action flick depends on close calls and lucky breaks for success. The article mentions that we think of success or failure in binary terms… either something was successful or it wasn’t. The main illustration was the catastrophe of the Columbia almost a decade ago. It was determined that the culprit was a piece of foam that fell off the external fuel tank during blastoff, damaging the ship critically. The truth is that the problem of foam coming off during blastoff had been reported on nearly 80 previous shuttle launches. Engineers even warned about this problem during the shuttle design process. This was clearly a problem… or potential problem, but because nothing had happened before, it was a problem that was easy to ignore.Read More
My wife came across this and sent it to me. In all my years in Kidmin, I’ve never read an article as clear as this and something that I feel isÂ absolutelyÂ necessaryÂ for every one of my volunteer to ready (specifically...Read More
Working with volunteers can be a very frustrating experience as well as a very rewarding experience it. The frustrating parts are when there just aren’t enough, when they don’t pull through like you hoped that they...Read More
Over the years, I think I’ve attended more Darren Kizer breakouts than any other. He’s a great presenter and shares some great stuff! Daren began is talk communicating about a crisis his church recently went through,...Read More
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