Having a quality follow-up system for first time guests in your Children’s Ministry is HUGE. If kids feel welcomed there’s a greater likelihood they’ll come back. And so will their parents.
I’ve been refining our process of how we do this at HDC. Here’s a snapshot of what we’re doing right now:
Our greeters welcome them and input their info into our database
We have a touch screen system we use to check kids in. It’s a pretty simple system that works well (we use Arena). Parents set-up an account (with the help of a greeter), enter a few pieces of info (name, phone #, how they heard about HDC), and check their children in. It only takes a minute to set-up.
We tell parents about check-out and call numbers
Parents get a brief tutorial on how to pick-up their kids, how our call number system works, and how to check their children in for future visits. We also give them this handout to put their check-out tag on so they don’t lose it.
Children are paired with a buddy to show them around
We’re still working on setting this piece up. Over the next couple of months we’ll be building a team of some of our core kids that can help show new kids around, kinda like a buddy system at school. Our hope is guests will feel less nervous and make a few friends.
Handwritten postcards are sent to kids
Kids LOVE getting mail! After service our leaders take a few minutes to write each new kid they had in their group or classroom a short note letting them know they were glad they came and hope they’ll come back. Here’s what our postcards look like:
A letter from me is sent home to parents
This letter is a small connect from me to let parents know we’re glad they came, we’re here to help their family, and how to get a hold of us. Here’s a copy of it:
All of this stuff may seem a little flashy or out of your church’s price range. But good follow-up doesn’t have to be. The main thing is to help families know what their kids will be doing while their in service, help kids connect with other kids, and let everyone know you’re glad they came.
What does your church do to help first-time kids feel at home? Post your ideas in the comment section below.