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10 Guidelines in Children's Ministry That You Should Never Bend On

It's important to have guidelines (that's a nice way to say "rules") for your children's ministry.

Some of your guidelines can have a little wiggle room. An example is a new family who asks if their children (different ages) can be in the same room since it's their first time there.

This would be a guideline that you could bend on if needed.

But there are some guidelines that you should never, ever bend on. Most of these are related to the safety of the children and volunteers. Let's take a look at 10 guidelines that you should never bend on.

#1 - Never be alone with a child. I was recently at a church where a child and an adult had been alone in a classroom. The adult molested the child, right there at church. Thankfully the church had a security camera system and they were able to give the police the footage. The adult is being prosecuted and hopefully the scumbag will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

All of this could have been avoided if they had simply enforced the guideline of never being alone with a child. This is a guideline that has zero room for compromise.

#2 - Children should always be wearing a name tag. This provides you with quick information if you need to get a hold of the child's parents. It can also show you if the child is allergic to things like peanuts.

Sometimes you will have a child who doesn't want to wear a name tag. But this cannot be compromised. Make them wear the name tag. And for younger children, you can put the name tag on their back.

#3 - Parents and guardians must present a matching name tag when picking up their child. No exceptions. Even if the pastor shows up, he cannot get a child if he can't present a name tag. People who lose their tags need to go to guest services, show their I.D. and get the green light to pick up the child.

#4 - Child molesters. They should never, ever be allowed to serve in children's ministry. No exceptions. In fact, they should not be allowed anywhere near the children's area. Some churches even restrict child molesters from being on the church campus. They require them to stay off of church property and watch the service online.

#5 - Do not allow someone who is involved in sexual sin to serve. This means anyone who is having sex outside of a marriage between a man and woman. Someone who is actively committing adultery should not serve. Someone who is involved in a homosexual relationship should not serve. A couple that is living together should not serve.

#6 - Everyone must have a background check done. No serving without one. And if something pops on the background check, have a team of people who decide if the person should be serving based on the infraction they committed, how long ago it took place, etc.

#7 - No one should grab or yank a child by their arms. The only time you should intervene is when a child is in danger of hurting themselves or someone else. Instead of yanking them out of the situation, wrap your arms around the child and move them to a place away from the scene.

#8 - Letting kids leave the classroom by themselves. Some children, especially the older kids, will try to leave once the service over. Don't let that happen. Parents should come and pick them up. You never know what could happen between the time they leave your supervision and connect with their parents.

#9 - Sharing the Gospel on a regular basis. We are living in a post-Christian nation. There is pressure to stay "politically correct." This means not saying there is only one way to heaven. To do so would mean you are a bigot or intolerant or narrow-minded.

But we cannot bend on this. Jesus is the only way to eternal life. The Bible is very clear on this. There is only one door that leads to heaven and it's Jesus.

#10 - Never allow bullying of any kind. Your church should be a safe, nurturing environment where kids can come and have a great experience and not have to worry about bullying. If you see bullying, stop it immediately. No bullying allowed. Period.

If you need help with any of these, then I highly recommend the safety and security webinar. You can get it on demand by clicking on the picture below. It's only $14.99 and you can show it to as many people as you'd like at your church.

Your turn.

Do you agree with these guidelines?

What are some other guidelines you have in place?

Share your thoughts in the comment section below.


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