By Ryan Hubbard
COVID-19 has changed almost every facet of ministry. Even with schools reopening, summer camps happening, and kids’ ministries meeting again, there are more questions than answers.
So, in this murky time, Jessica Bealer, director of family ministry services at Generis, sat down with Dave Milam, vice president of strategic design at Visioneering Studios, to discuss what changes they see coming in kids’ ministry.
They sought to answer three main questions: What are the new best practices? What’s working for churches right now? How are these things affecting ministry spaces?
These questions led to three takeaways to help frame the future of kids’ ministry and how churches can successfully adapt to this new world.
NEW STANDARDS OF CLEAN
Starting with the widespread appearance of hand-sanitizing stations and continuing into the new process for temperature checking and masking, COVID-19 introduced a whole new level of cleanliness to our practices that aren’t going away. Now, to an even greater degree, parents expect a clean and safe space for the children. After all, even if the coronavirus faded away today, another flu season is right around the corner.
So, while we’ll probably see things like temperature check stations fade away in a couple of months, the days of letting children with snotty noses and coughs run around unchecked are long gone.
NEW PROCESS FOR FAMILIES
One unexpected way COVID-19 has helped our processes is with the broader adoption of online preregistration. Systems we developed to help with limited capacities have become an excellent tool for assisting new families to check in without standing in a crowded lobby filling out forms. This helps families feel more at ease in this post-COVID-19, socially anxious world.
Along with that, parents are becoming more aware of classroom sizes and ratios. Before COVID-19, many parents were willing to ignore that a room was crowded if their kids were having fun. However, today crowded children’s rooms make many parents uncomfortable.
NEW VIEWS ON CHILDREN’S SPACES
Once upon a time every pastor in the country wanted a three-story playground with tubes, slides, and a ball pit. Those days are long gone. Today parents see play spaces like that and think petri dish rather than good time. Instead, families desire areas where they can have shared experiences together—like outdoor lawns with games like corn hole and ring toss.
In the same way, gone are the days of “Ranger Town” or other heavily themed spaces. Designers today are creating spaces that until now were more suitable for a kids’ hospital or a kids’ museum. These super-clean spaces still find ways to make their environment fun through simple graphics or color elements. These spaces communicate to families that their children are in a clean, safe, and fun environment.
For more information and a full look into the future of kids’ ministry, check out last week’s webinar on-demand at Visioneering Studios.
Ryan Hubbard serves as a brand strategist with Visioneering Studios.