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How Do Kids and Families in Your Ministry Feel When They Go Home After Church?

I love riding roller coasters. Especially as you are getting off the ride. Everyone is hyped up, laughing, talking about the experience and how it made them feel. (for some it was sheer terror - depends on whether you like roller coasters or not).

The point is this - every one has experienced some type of emotion while on the ride.

Each Sunday kids and families come to our ministries. And here's the question to think about.

How do kids and families in your ministry feel when they go home after church?

Here are some emotions and feelings you should strive for every child to feel when they go home after your church service or program.

Welcomed. They should be made to feel at home. Even if it's their first visit. This happens when everyone they meet makes them feel welcome.

It's not just the greeters' job to make them feel welcome. It's everyone's job. No one person owns the guest's experience. Their experience is the accumulation of everyone they come in contact with.

Accepted. Not looked down on. Accepted. Not ignored. Accepted. Not judged by what they are wearing or not wearing. Accepted. Not compared by what kind of car they drive. Accepted. Not left out. Included. Not frowned at. Smiled at.

Excited. The last thing you want is for kids to come home and say, "It was boring." Rather, you want to see them come home excited about what they experienced. It's okay to have fun at church. This is not about content, but rather the way the content is delivered. Kids should leave feeling like they can't wait to come back next week. Kids will experience excitement when your lessons are age appropriate, fun, hands on, interactive and a dialogue rather than a monologue.

Cared for. Every kid and family should have someone who cares about them. Someone who knows their story. Someone who is intentional about asking how they are doing. Someone who knows when they are absent and checks on them. Someone who encourages them when they are going through a tough time on the journey called life.

Loved. Every child wants to know that God loves them. And God often expresses His love through His servants. Be a conduit of God's love for them. Look at them instead of past them. Love them like family. Love them with a I Corinthians 13 love.

Prayed for. Every child should hear their name called in prayer each week. The best way to see this happen is to make sure they are in a small group (6 to 8 kids) with a caring leader. Ratios are so important if you are going to see this happen consistently.

Reverence. As I mentioned above, I believe church should be a fun place for kids. And that fun should also contain a time of feeling reverent before the Lord. Lead them to be still and quiet for a few minutes. Invite them to talk to God quietly by themselves. After a minute or so, invite them to simply sit there and listen. What is God saying to them in the stillness of the moment? As you usher kids into the presence of God, you will be amazed at how He will work in their life.

Closer to God. Our prayer should be this - every time a child and family leaves church, they should feel closer to God.

Empowered. Children and parents should walk out the doors feeling empowered to make a difference for the kingdom. As we equip them, they will feel empowered. As we encourage them to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit and not their own power, they will leave ready to change the world.

Your turn. What are some other things kids and families need to feel when they go home after church? Share them in the comment section below.


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