Three Trends in Kidmin
I see more and more kidmin leaders not sticking with one curriculum. They're switching around, and not because they're dissatisfied with the curriculum. They just want to switch it up. Even churches that have a denominational publishing house, they aren't being loyal to the denomination publishing house. They are trying different things; they may try something for six months, then do this for the summer, and then do something for this quarter. Personally, there are probably flip sides of the coin.
Part of me really loves that. I would think that most senior pastors aren't going to have somebody feed them their three years' worth of sermons. Because who knows what my church is going through, what the needs of my congregation are, and what's surfacing? So I like that with kidmin leaders they're trying to actually pick up on, "hey, what are the needs of these kids? Maybe I need to adjust the curriculum accordingly." Flip side of the coin is this: I think with kids a curriculum is important because the curriculum is your roadmap. It is a way to help you make sure that A, B, C, D, E, F, and G are all getting covered in this amount of time. So there's flip sides of the coin, but it is a trend I see.
Another trend I see (this isn't new in the last couple of months but I would say in the last year or two) that is a super, super heightened increase in security and safety precautions when it comes to kids' ministry. Not just running background checks on volunteers, but even like "Hey, are we really taking this check-in and check-out thing seriously? Do we have evacuation plans? Do we have a lockdown plan?"
A lot of churches have security teams, which is a great way for you to get dads involved. Are you looking for a way to get your dads involved? A lot of dads are never going to step in front of a classroom with a teacher manual, but they will join a security team. I've seen a lot more security teams. Even churches are bringing in armed security people or an off-duty police officer or something just to be there, but increase in security.
Speaking of security, here's another one. I'm not sure that I like it, but it is a reality. That is I'm picking up on a growing fear of men serving in children's ministry. I believe it's probably because most sexual crimes are committed by men, so there is a wariness about men being in the back with kids. I hate that because, hey, I'm a guy. Some of the best volunteers in my church are guys. I think with a lot of moms and a lot of churches, when they look at liability like, "Man, is it smart for us to have men back here with the kids?" Now, I think it's totally fine.
I think you need to be screening everybody. You need to background check everybody, and you need to routinely background check everybody. You don't background check somebody and let a decade go by before you screen them again. Routinely check these people, and then you can be smart about this. I would never put two men in a classroom together by themselves, even if they're your best men, even if they have cleared a background check. A mom, especially a new mom, if she brings her kids to a class and there's two men, it's going to create some anxiety. Maybe not to all moms, but to some moms that's going to seem a little weird. You need to have two adults in the room, but I would not put two men in the room. I think it's something for us just to be aware of; that there is an increasing fear of men serving in kids' ministry.
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