Some churches have already begun on-campus children’s activities, but others are still considering their options. Without my evaluating the questions or offering any responses, here are some of the questions pastors are telling me they’re considering:
- Should we follow the lead of local schools? That is, should we re-start children’s ministries only if/when the schools have students on campus again?
- Will we have enough vetted volunteers to restart the ministries? We’ll likely need fewer of them, but it might be tough to get all we need in some cases.
- Where do we start? If we can’t restart every children’s ministry, where do we begin? Most churches I know have started with some ministry that takes place during the Sunday morning worship service.
- What steps do we need to take to keep the facilities clean and sanitized? More specifically, the question relates to how we keep them sanitized as much as possible while children are present.
- Should teachers wear masks? Some local authorities are providing guidelines here, but other congregations have to make their own decisions.
- Must children wear masks? Like question #1, should we follow the direction of the schools? If children must wear masks, at what age should the requirement begin?
- Should we take temperatures of children and workers before they enter the building room? Some schools—and churches—are already taking this step.
- How do we practice social distancing among children? They naturally want to play together, and it will be tough to keep them apart for any length of time.
- If we’re practicing social distancing in space, is the reduced maximum number of children worth our restarting on campus – or should we only maximize our virtual offerings for children? At the risk of sounding impersonal, do we have a minimum number of children we want to see coming?
- Should we decrease the amount of time set apart for children’s groups? For example, should a one-hour children’s group prior to COVID now be no longer than 30-45 minutes?
- If more children will be in the worship service, how do we best incorporate them into the service? Too many churches (even before COVID) almost ignored children in the room during a worship service – so this question is a good one.
- What’s our plan if we learn of a volunteer or child who has tested positive for COVID? Waiting until the almost inevitable happens is not the best approach.
What questions would you add to this list?