QUIZ: How family-friendly is your church?

February 1st, 2010
This article is featured in the New Places for New People (Feb/Mar/Apr 2010) issue of Circuit Rider

Check the statements that accurately describe your children’s ministries.

___ We provide a nursery for infants and small children.
___ Our nursery is regularly staffed with trained volunteers.
___ We have a nursery sign-in process.
___ We have a system for labeling or organizing children’s belongings.
___ Our nursery room is clean, baby proofed, and adequately supplied.
___ Our nursery room is colorful and has a variety of age-appropriate toys.
___ We have policies regarding health and safety in our nursery.
___ New births are celebrated with baptism or baby dedication.
___ Adults of all ages are friendly to children in worship.
___ We provide an activity bag to keep children occupied in worship.
___ Children have opportunities to serve in worship.
___ We include a children’s message during the main worship service.
___ We offer alternative children’s worship during part or all of the main worship service.
___ We have Sunday school and other ministries for children.
___ Visitors with infants and children often return for a second visit.

0-5 checks: Your church could be doing a lot more to improve the experience of families with children. Ask parents with infants and children (both inside and outside of your church) what would make your church more welcoming and accessible to them.

6-10 checks: Your church is friendly to families with children but could do more to make Sunday mornings a pleasant and spiritually-enriching experience for them. Assess your checks and gaps above; do you serve one age group better than others? What could you do better?

11-15 checks: Your church is very welcoming to families with children! Consider partnering with your district or conference office to train other churches in practicing hospitality to infants and children.

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