Promotion Sunday is almost upon us. When do you promote? How do you promote? How do you communicate promotions to your parents?
John Saddington works at North Point, but he wrote about his experience as a dad. Click here to see the card he got in the mail.
They get a an A+ on communication.
What are you doing that is different but effective?
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We promote on birthdays (or month milestones with babies). Because of being a big church, we stick to something that is a hard rule so people don’t feel like there is some in crowd you have to be on to get exceptions. The rules are the same for everyone (although kids with special needs or developmental issues are placed individually.)
Every room from birth through 4th grade promotes on their birthday. By the time they go to the 5th-6th room, their grade is usually well established and based on fact (not stories like, “But my daughter is a 6yo trapped in a 5yo body” which I actually heard from a parent at one of our campuses.) We’ve been able to do this for about 6 years since we have a database that just prints nametags with the kid’s room printed on it changing automatically when they have a birthday. Nice.
The campuses do have birthday cards they send out with a magnet to remind them to go online and check out the parent resources for their child’s new room at http://www.lifekids.tv. I would use every communication that goes home (including promotion info) as another opportuniy to communicate the expectation that parents are leading at home and partnering with us. I don’t know how well we do at that though.
When they turn 6 and enter the big elementary experience, it’s a really big deal and they get to celebrate their birthday in the birthday booth or spin a prize wheel (depending on which one their campus has space for) to get “money” to add to their bank account (usually only for memorizing verses, looking up the verse in their Bible, bringing friends, completing Bible reading plan for he week, etc.). I like getting to celebrate a couple of birthdays every week instead of have a huge group enter at once.
This seems to help maintain status quo with behavior expectations too. When we welcome first time guest (which includes new 6yo kids) we can then roll right into a review of the rules for everyone even though we can say it’s for the new kids. When you get a whole new crowd, they bring their behavior norm along with them. So instead of showing the 5s how we act in this new room, they show you. Does that happen for those of you who promote on a certain Sunday? I know when I was a teacher we had to spend a ton of time with each new year establishing expectations. I really don’t feel like I have to do that at all when it’s a just a few at a time.
Of course the great big huge downside is kids sometimes not being with their friends. But with our size (and not doing small groups on the weekend), it doesn’t seem to matter too much. They hop around to different service times anyway and don’t often come every single week.
I did happen to overhear a mom last night at our Tulsa campus explain why she was dropping off her 6yo in the 4-5 room because she just wasn’t ready yet. So I know it still happens. They didn’t hassle her and I just observed. Sounded like she understood the policy but was planning to move her up in August with the July attendance surge simmers down (our At the Movies series brings in tons of guests and infrequent attenders).
Sorry for the long response, but hey, you asked. 🙂
.-= Kendra Golden´s last blog ..Job 13 =-.
I live/attend Worship in Virginia. Our children return to school the Tuesday following Labor Day. Therefore, our Church promotes the Sunday following, this year September 13th.
The Children’s Ministry advertises EVERY WHERE!!! On-line, in Church bulletins, on the children’s bulletin boards in the Church building, the parent handouts, the children’s ministry volunteer newsletter. If there is one person that DOESN’T know, it’s because they don’t read!