Making Your Kidmin Facilities a Welcoming Place

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Visitors bring anxiety with them to church. If you've ever visited a church for the first time, you know what it's like. That anxiety. The anxiety you already feel as an adult, doubles and triples when you have kids with you. So, I've got to recognize a few things when I think about the anxiety that these visitors bring. First of all, these visitors are on the first visit. Let me tell you what they're most anxious about. They're most anxious about the facility. Remember, they've never been there before, they've never been there. They don't know what door to go in, they don't know where their kids go or if there is something for their kids, they don't know how to check them in, they don't know how to check them out, they don't know that their kids are going to have fun, but there's all this anxiety that comes around the facility.

Let's drill deep into this one for just a minute. At your facility, what are the signs like? I was at a large church recently in Omaha, Nebraska; a big church with several thousand people that brought me in to kind of evaluate their space and consult with them on some children's ministry things. And as I was walking through their children's space, they had signs, but they were of no help to a visitor. It was like pioneers with an arrow, and then it had grasshoppers with an arrow.

If you go to church there all the time, you know who the pioneers are, what age group or the grasshoppers are. But if you're a visitor, you're not going to know that. So you need to check out your signage when you think about facility. Signage really helps lower the anxiety of visitors. So walk through your facility. If it's my first time here and I came in this door, would I know where to go? What about check in and check out? Check in and check out can be very, very overwhelming especially for someone that's visiting. They don't know, they may not know they have to check in, and then they walk up to a computer monitor. So a couple of thoughts on this one, make sure that you have a designated volunteer or staff member that is at the check in/check out.

I would have a kiosk just for first time guests. First time guests or questions come to this kiosk and you make sure that you have a designated volunteer at that kiosk. Something else that can make it overwhelming is when the lines are backed up. This is why I think it's really cool that companies like Kid Check and Kidmin App have express lanes, so parents can check their kids in on the way to church, and in doing so, they go right to an express lane to pick up their tag and they don't have to wait in line at a computer. The shorter lines, the less the anxiety. So look at that facility. How are my signs? How's check in/check out? Here's another one. Is everything clean? Is the facility clean? Is it kid friendly? Now, it doesn't have to look like Disneyland to be kid friendly, but you can do a lot with a gallon of paint and you can do a lot with a bulletin board and with printables just to make the space itself kid friendly. Is the furniture kid friendly? It does not take a lot of money to make the area a kid friendly area and to help decrease the anxiety of the parents.

Your #1 fan,


Ryan Frank