Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Why every church needs a kid's corner

I wrote here about taking my eldest daughter to swimming lessons each week.

And each week it's the same delicate balance...

The lesson starts at 11am.
In theory, it takes 5 minutes to change Hanna prior to the lesson, 5 minutes to walk to the swim center from the car park and 10 minutes to drive from home.

So, again in theory, I should be able to leave at 10:40 and be perfectly on time.

And that's what I try and do. Each and every week. I leave at the exact moment when there will be no downtime prior to Hanna's swimming lesson.


Because downtime is the enemy of parental mental health.

Downtime, even for a few minutes, leads to chaos and outright rebellion.

It's true for swimming...
And it's true for church.

Those unaccounted for minutes before the service can be torturous.

It's only now that I appreciate why parents arrive exactly on time, or slightly late, to church.

Aside from it being a battle in order for your offspring to do anything (have you tried to make a three-year-old put on shoes?!?), you'd much rather turn up to church when something is prepared/happening, then just drop your kids into the pre-church vacuum.

As a result of this, I set up a simple kids table at my last few churches.

On it were pencils/crayons/textas, coloured paper, a colouring sheet tying into the service/lesson and a puzzle/find-a-word linked to the bible reading.

I did this so a) kids will have something to do before or during the service if they need a distraction, and b) parents will know that there's something to point their progeny towards if they need it.

In my opinion, every church serious about reaching and keeping families, should have a stocked kids corner.

If not, the odds of me arriving anything but exactly on time are - at best - slim.

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