Showing Up Early: From Expectation to Policy at Rossview

Hello Kids Ministry Small Group leaders at Rossview. I would like to first say thank you for allowing God to use each of you to help kids become growing followers of Jesus Christ. What you do every Sunday involves more than investing in kids . . . it’s a way to worship our one and only Savior through your volunteer role.

What I have to say below is very important and needs your full attention. Please know that my heart over this issue is to maintain a safe environment for our kids and to also help prepare you for the ministry that happens each and every Sunday.

Out With An Expectation . . . And Hello To A New Policy

Showing up 15 minutes early

When you expect something you are considering it to be probable or certain . . . in other words, you assume it’s a “given” for this to happen on every occasion. In our Kids Ministry at Grace we have expected for years that all small group leaders, co-leaders, and assistants be in their small group areas ready to welcome parents and kids 15 minutes before service starts. Even though we have a minority of volunteers who adhere to this expectation, the majority of our amazing volunteers show up either at the beginning of the service or even a few minutes late.

Here’s why this is not OK:

1. To parents who are dropping their precious kids off, this makes us look like we are unprepared (which if you’re not there, we are unprepared) and that we are asking parents to trust us even though we foster an unsafe environment where their kids may not be supervised properly. Is this harsh? Yep . . . and it stings even to write this, but it’s true.

2. For the kids, they might be left alone by parents who drop their kids off even though no adults are present because they trust our kids ministry. What if the child wanders off? What if a child hurts himself? Worse case scenario: What if a predator strikes?

Showing up 15 minutes before your service starts is so important because that’s when we allow Check In to start allowing parents to drop off their children. So showing up 15 minutes early should make total sense to anyone who works with kids. But let’s go a step further . . .

Add five more minutes to that

If you serve in small groups then you are in “ministry” . . . you are just as important as our pastors . . . as a matter of fact, we are ALL called to be priests:

1Peter 2:9

“But God chose you to be his people. You are royal priests. You are a holy nation. You are a people who belong to God. All of this is so that you can sing his praises. He brought you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

The importance of what you do warrants a need for us to gather together for 5 minutes to pray . . . so now we’re up to 20 minutes before the service starts. We need this time to join together in prayer to ask for God to “show up” in such a mighty way that our kids will never be the same. So much can come from us simply linking up for a few minutes and asking God to move in our lives and the lives of our kids . . . it’s the least we can do and one of the most important things we can do for our kids.

So, bottom line . . . starting this Sunday (Feb. 12th) showing up 20 minutes early is not an expectation . . . it’s a policy. It’s a policy for 2 reasons:

1. For the protection of our amazing kids . . .

2. So we can go to God together in prayer before we begin ministering to kids . . .

So this Sunday at the Rossview Campus please show up in the Large Group area of whatever environment you serve in. If it’s Wonder Warehouse then show up in the Wonder Warehouse Large Group area 20 minutes before your service starts. BOTH Cross Street and Revolve leaders will meet in the Cross Street Large Group area 20 minutes early starting this Sunday.

Your Directors will start promptly 20 minutes beforehand with prayer. Thanks ahead of time for following this new policy, and thanks for making our Kids Ministry at Grace super AWESOME!

About Adam Bayne

I'm the Children's Pastor at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, TN, a heavyweight Disney nerd, a lightweight sports fan, and an all-out fan of my wife and two daughters.
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