Another Covid 19 Pandemic audible. Last week an Executive Pastor friend, David Jordan, called to talk through including a medical form in the check-in process. They had decided to continue to meet live even with much lower numbers - around 20% of old normal. Like most XP's, he's a planner anticipating when they start back with children's ministry and check-in.
I think David is on to something about life in the Covid tail and post-Covid world we are headed toward. Trust is going to be a huge factor for parents as they consider bringing their kids back. One way to help with that is to communicate with parents a few medical guidelines that are going to be REQUIRED of all families.
Most children's ministries already have some health guidelines participating families are expected to abide by. These are going to need to be reinforced and expanded in three ways: 1) Content, 2) Visibility, and 3) Accountability.
Content. I did a little research to see what our national medical authorities are currently using for a Covid screening form. I adapted the language I found from a form used by the Mayo Clinic. These included three questions that I reframed into three affirmations.
Visibility. Health guidelines for children's ministry are usually hidden away in a ministry handout given to parents when they first start bringing their kids. Maybe your ministry has a poster of these. But, too much is at stake now for these to be anything but front and center.
Accountability. Most parents see the value of and abide by children's ministry health guidelines. Most parents. But not all and not all the time. There needs to be a way for parents to be reminded of the expectations every time they drop off their kids and affirm that they are abiding by them ... every time. I think anything else going forward is going to fall short.
My recommended solution in Churchteams at this super-early juncture is to add three affirmations to your check-in screen that parents see every time they check-in their kids. Here is the language I came up with. Feel free to use and edit it if it's helpful.
For those of you who are clients. Here is a screen shot of what your new check-in screens may look like. Of course, it would have your logo and any other customizations. I actually took out the background image for this illustration to put more focus on the three statements. I also considered making the text red to draw attention to it, but I thought it was harder to read.
To go a step further, here is the code that you are free to copy and paste into E4 of any check-in view you want to edit. Just change the URL at the top to accommodate the uploaded link to your logo like before.
<br><p style="font-size:1em; color:gray; text-align: left; padding-left: 20%; padding-right: 20%"><b>By checking in today, I affirm ALL of the following.</b><br><br>
<b>1. In the past 14 days,</b> none of us has knowingly been within 6 feet of a person with a lab-confirmed case of Covid-19.<br>
<b>2. In the last 48 hours</b> none of us have had: fever, chills, cough, trouble breathing, muscle aches, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or headache.<br>
<b>3. A health official</b> has not advised any of us to get tested for Covid-19.</p>
Text-to-Check-in, however, skips this login screen. So, my current recommendation until one of you comes up with something better is to put these same affirmations in other communication places like email, newsletter, or your website. That way parents will already know this when they text to check-in. One step further might be to text parents, but this affirmation statement is really too long to include in a text. If you choose to do that, use a link to your website in the text.
I hear all the time that the church and how we do ministry is never going to be the same again after the Covid crisis of 2020. It is my conviction that things that the enemy intends for evil, the Lord uses for good to accomplish His purposes (see Genesis 50:20). So, let's not waste this pandemic. Let's learn all we can from it. Then, take that learning and apply it to leading people clearly and well.