Our CM Programs are “too loose”

Your Question:

“The children are either dropped off at the CM areas, or they walk there on their own.  When the program is over, they leave to go meet their parents.  How can we ‘tighten up’ the protection of the children before and after the program?”

The Issues:

Changing the process of reuniting the children with their parents is difficult after the program has already been launched. It is much easier to set this policy before the program begins.  If you are “tightening up” the program after it’s already running, do so firmly and with plenty of communication with the parents.  Don’t apologize for establishing a new procedure in order to protect the children.

Scripture Foundation:

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”  Hebrews 13:17

Short Answer:

Parents notice everything you do with their children.  If a program releases the children to “go and find your parents,” that sends a mixed message to the parents.  Yes, parents may enjoy not having to go to the CM area to pick up their children, but they also understand that their children aren’t as protected as they could or should be.  Releasing the children without any organized checkout process is easier than creating and maintaining a secure check-in and checkout process; but it is increasingly dangerous for the children and the church!  When you create a check-in and checkout process after the program has been running, you must do so under the “umbrella” of protecting the children.  Be prepared for complaints from some parents and even from some CM team members.  Be kind in your reactions to these challenges, but always stand firm on your decision as a way of increasing the protection of the children.  Remind the CM team that if a child is lost between the CM and the parents, the parents would most assuredly sue the church.  That lawsuit would include the CM team members in charge of their children.  Creating a check-in / checkout process protects everyone from a costly lawsuit. For more help, click on the links below.

Visit other articles in the “Developing Programs APPENDIX

Back to the “Developing Programs” page

Support those who serve on your children's ministry team