This past Sunday, we launched our new ministry year. Children were moved up to their new classrooms, new leaders made their way to their classrooms and an air of excitement was in the air.
We made a few adjustments to our programming and ministry spaces this year. These changes were made based on feedback from leaders and parents as well as logistical needs.
Nursery (Birth – 23 months): We were extremely blessed to have our 4 nursery classrooms repainted over the summer. We chose softer, child-friendly colors that refreshed our space and make it feel more cozy. We’ll add some wall decor and other decorative elements in the coming weeks, but it’s amazing what a coat (or three) of paint can do to a room! We’ll also have our nursery hallway painted in the coming weeks.
Preschool (Age 2 – Kindergarten): This summer, we consolidated our preschool classrooms from 4 classes to 2. This was not only done because of summer attendance but because I also think that summer is a great time to experiment and change things up. During the school year, we had a 2’s class, a 3’s class, a Pre-K/4’s class, and a K/5’s class. In June (and continuing through August), we kept our 2’s class but provided a mixed-age class for 3’s – 5’s. This format change was well-received from both leaders AND parents, so we wanted to give it a try for this school year.
We decided upon separate classes for 2’s and 3’s and a mixed-age class for 4’s & 5’s. So far, feedback has remained positive and the new format has allowed us to bring in additional student leaders to take more responsibility as worship, games and small group leaders.
Elementary (Grades 1-3): Changes made in this area were more logistical. We wanted to be more intentional about encouraging relationship-building between students and leaders & students to each other. Instead of setting up activity stations around the room (our 1st-3rd Graders meet in a large room that has dividers we pull after our large group time), we now have students go directly to their small group after they are checked in. Our leaders will now prepare arrival & session starter activities for their group to encourage friendships within the group. Each small group area is marked with a posted sign that will help children easily find their group.
We were also extremely blessed to have more college students join this age group this year. Their passion and energy will bring a new level of excitement to our elementary area!
Making Kickoff Sunday Fun!
With all of these changes in place, we also wanted to be more intentional about welcoming families, thanking volunteers for serving and thanking children for coming.
Four dozen (that’s right, 48!) balloons were placed strategically throughout the church (upstairs and on the lower level where our classrooms are) to say “Welcome!” These balloons made our morning look like one, big party! And because children were moving to new classrooms, we asked a few moms to come in to greet families and help direct them to their new classrooms.
It has been a desire of mine to have a cozy space of their own to gather and grab refreshments on Sunday mornings. My Associate Director has done a fabulous job of making sure we have treats each week but this past Sunday we opened up The Hammock. Since 3 of our ministry areas have a backyard/nature related name, The Hammock is a good fit to describe our volunteer space. My supervisor and our summer intern did a nice job making my vision come to life. During the week, we’ll have our kidmin staff meetings in this space. Check it out for yourself:
Our summer intern, Erin, had a great idea – let’s give our volunteers a small gift on Kickoff Sunday. I loved it! In yesterday’s post, I talked about our theme for the year, and Erin put together a lovely gift that tied in to it.
Thanking Children for Coming
We also thought that it would be a nice touch to give children a small gift for coming on Kickoff Sunday. Erin put together small gift bags that were distributed to children ages 2 – Grade 5. We will keep leftovers and give them out to children who are visiting us for the first time. Such a cute idea!
Keep the conversation going! Leave a comment below, telling me how you celebrated Kickoff Sunday in your kidmin.