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Tips from children’s ministers

What suggestions do you have for other congregations trying to stay connected to children during this time, especially smaller congregations?

Jennifer Schroeder

Jennifer Schroeder

Jennifer Schroeder | children’s minister, North Atlanta Church of Christ 

Church size: 1,000 

Number of children in congregation: about 150-175

“Everyone has a parking lot. Get some spray chalk, mark out circles, and figure out a way to do things outside. If they’re in their circles, they can take off their mask. If they get closer to each other, they have to put masks on. Set up pretty strict guidelines so parents feel comfortable.”

Click here for a list of helpful resources from the North Atlanta church.

Related: ‘Learning as you’re running’

Luke Reynolds | youth minister, Central Church of Christ, Winter Haven, Fla.

Church size: 180 

Number of children in congregation: 40

“Don’t forget about the kids. So many things are out there for adults, but the kids are just as important as every other member of the congregation.”

Penny White | children’s minister, Conejo Valley Church of Christ, Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Church size: 250 

Number of children in congregation: 40

“If you’re doing worship online, invite the kids to be part of that. Have people send in videos of their children reading Scripture and leading prayers, even very young children. … That’s huge in the life of a child, being included.”

Marian Parker | children’s minister, Campbell Church of Christ, Campbell, Calif.

Marian Parker

Marian Parker

Church size: 500 members 

Number of children in congregation: about 70

“The best connections, if yours is a small church, is making phone calls and sending mail to the kids. When they get something in the mail, it’s exciting.   Make phone calls to parents. In a smaller church, the number is manageable. 

“Don’t feel guilty if you can’t produce a video or provide Zoom calls. They’re Zoomed out. They’re videoed out. They’re craving the connection a small church can easily provide. 

“Ask, ‘What can I pray for you this week?’ That’s huge and so appreciated.”

Taly Barrera | minister’s wife, children’s teacher, Elgin Church of Christ, Illinois

Church size: 180 

Number of children in congregation: 40

“The first thing is to pray. God will lead the way. Keep in mind that we have to provide the opportunities for children because they cannot do it on their own. 

“Little hearts love God, and when you plant the seed, they will grow. We cannot forget that. It could be one child in a class, but you provide what that child needs. Do not give up.”

Filed under: Children's ministry Church of Christ Coronavirus COVID-19 covid19 Opinion pandemic People

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