This week we are going to be exploring three simple ways to help connect the ministry we do at church with parents at home. At Liquid we are attempting to partner more with parents [learn more] and these are a few of the small things we’ve done in this area.
I have to confess something. Years ago when I was on staff at The Meeting House in Toronto I would end up in an annual conversation with my good friend [and amazing photographer] Amy Montgomery about what a bad idea it would be to have the kids up on stage during our Christmas Eve service.
I was wrong.
I didn’t think it could be done well. I thought it was outside the brand character of the church we were attempting to create. I thought it would be really corny.
Two Christmas seasons ago at Liquid Church we had our first Christmas Eve services . . . and I found myself advocating for having kids on stage that evening. The logic we ended up using was that doing this would . . .
- Help to encourage parents to invite the extended family to visit that evening.
- Be a great focus for the late fall programming within our Children’s programming.
- Let’s be honest … people are looking for sentimental on Christmas eve. Having the kids on stage (and also singing Silent Night with candles lit) isn’t anything we normally do . . . but meets people where they are at that on Christmas eve.
- If we say that partnering with families is really important to us . . . but never have a kid on stage at all . . . doesn’t that send a mixed message?
So we did it! It was a bit cheesy . . . but great at the same time. We made some tweaks from 2009 to 2010 and I’m pretty excited to see what we can do this coming year. Here are a few lessons we learned in pulling off the “kids on stage” deal:
- Sent every family home with two discs starting the second week of October – one with just the music on it, another one with a video that shows the actions being performed.
- We used “audio tracks” for the kids to sing to . . . the band is cooler to have them sing along with but the tracks are more predictable for them.
- We had free family photos available in the foyer before and after the service. This was a huge hit and really encouraged Uncle Eddie and Grandma to come and see the “precious little ones” on the stage.
- They sang two songs . . . and then got off the stage! We know this is a really great . . .for a segment of our community.
What about you? Where does the line of including kids in the main programming fall in your church?
Next week we’re going to be looking at three essential leadership roles that your church needs to have if you are aiming at being a thriving multisite church.