Leaving kids in children's ministry the first time is scary for guest parents. They are concerned that the situation is new and uncertain for their children. They are uneasy about leaving their kids with people they don't know. They might even have to battle thoughts about worse case scenarios. Their worry distracts them from fully engaging in worship.
But you have worked hard to invite and welcome them. You've made sure the children's area is clean and looks fun. You've staffed it with good people who really care. You've even provided security with check-in. All of these are important, but what if when parents walk away you could do a little something extra. Here's a simple idea on how to extend your hospitality one step further to help assuage guest parent fears.
Create a workflow to send them an assuring text 10 minutes after signing in.
Here's how to do this:
- Create a group to collect New Families. I call it the 1st Time Kids group.
- In the check-in views you use to add new families pick this group in the D2 dropdown.
- Create the Text Message Template by clicking that option under the Communicate button. Feel free to use the content in the text above with as the merge tag to customize the name. I call it "1st Time Kids: Enjoy worship".
- Create the 1st Time Kids Workflow. Here's what I have in the description: Goal: Make parents feel welcome and confident in our care of their kids. Path: Send them a text 10 minutes after dropping off their kids.
- Build the 1st Time Kids Workflow.
- Enrollment group: 1st Time Kids
- Wait 10 minutes.
- Send Text Message: 1st Time Kids: Enjoy worship
- Wait for 6 days.
- Remove from group: 1st Time Kids
- Start it by making it Active.
I also use the 1st Time Kids group as an enrollment group for the 1st Time Guest workflow. So, the purpose of this workflow is only to send that initial text since I know that follow up will be driven in the other workflow. You will also see that I removed them from the group 6 days after the text is sent. That keeps the group clean and tracking just new families. You may prefer a longer period of time in the group. Feel free to tweak and customize in any way you want perhaps with an option to reply or click a link to give feedback.
Romans 12:13 says, "Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." Sharing a text with new parents a few minutes after they've left their kids gives them assurance in a time of need. It represents hospitality at its best.