At the end of this month, we will begin a process of introducing children's check-ins to Arbor Drive on Sunday mornings. This is a new thing for us and the question will naturally be asked "why are we doing this" or "do we really need this"? These are great questions and the answer to these questions is exciting and full of evidence of God's grace to us at Arbor Drive.
If you've been attending Arbor Drive recently, you may have noticed that there are a growing number of young children on Sunday mornings. If you take a walk past the nursery, you will see that we seem to be busting at the seams with kids. That is a tremendous blessing. This is an evidence of God's grace in a few ways.
1) God is blessing families with children. In just the first 6 months of this year, we will have a dozen of so new babies born to families at Arbor Drive. We are seeing more children because God is blessing families by adding little ones to their home.
2) God is blessing us with new families. If you look around, you might notice that there are many new families with kids that have been attending Arbor Drive. It is easy on Sunday mornings to notice a new family with kids that you might not have met before. We have seen many new families start attending within the last year.
3) God is blessing us by continuing to bring new families to Arbor Drive. It is not uncommon to get 4-6 connect cards in a month. These connect cards are filled out by new attenders that are wanting to learn more about Arbor Drive. God is continuously bringing new families to Arbor Drive and many of these new families have children.
So as we look around, we can see God's grace and blessing all around the building on Sundays in the number of kids we see. This also presents new challenges. As a church, we want all parents, members, attenders and guests, to know that their children are being cared for. We want to make sure that everyone who comes to Arbor Drive knows that we take the care and safety of their children seriously and feel confident in entrusting their children to us.
Our children's workers already do a tremendous job of caring for the children of Arbor Drive on Sunday mornings. The volunteers we have in children's ministry are second to none, but the challenge is we have grown to a point where it is almost impossible for someone who is volunteering to know every family at Arbor Drive on Sunday mornings. Between new attenders, members, and first time guests, it is easy to see how it is unrealistic to expect our children's workers to know every family. Since we want to make sure that each child is not only cared for effectively, but also returned safely to their parent, our children's check in system is the best solution to ensure we provide the quality of care and security that we want to be known for. This allows us to have a system to ensure there is accountability for every child entrusted for us. Every child is checked in by a parent and the workers not only know the name of that child, but who the parents are and how to contact them if there's a problem as well as vital information like allergies or foods to avoid. In addition, only a parent can pick their child up so the children's workers can know that each child has been connected back with their parent. Not only will this make the children's workers more comfortable in their role, but it will give visitors a confidence that we can be trusted to care for their children during the service.
There will be another post soon that answers the question of "what will this look like", but for now, join me in giving thanks to God that we have seen His grace and goodness at our church in such a way that we can now take this step of adding children's check-ins. We as a body can now welcome new guests AND give them confidence and peace of mind that their children are secure and in good hands as they are ministered to in the main service.