Kids speak “kid.” When a new child walks into the children’s church for the first time they rarely feel brave. If he’s greeted by a group of adults giving him directions and talking to him all at once, he can feel nervous–even afraid. However, when you have children working the door, you’ve got a whole different dynamic in play. Since my children’s church has a two-pronged mission statement: teaching kids about God and training them to be leaders, using kid volunteers is perfect. If you’re thinking about asking some aspiring, kid-sized leaders to help, the welcome table is a good place to start.
How does it work? Choose two volunteers for each week to work at the welcome table. Of course, kids will need to be a little older to stay focused on their task. As kids arrive at the facility, the volunteers open the door, greet families and point them to the welcome table. The second volunteer will stand near the table. At the welcome table, the volunteer will hand out what’s needed.
What should they do? Your volunteers should arrive a few minutes early for prayer and instruction. Keep the job (and instruction) simple. Ask kids to greet the incoming child, distribute name tags, gifts to visitors, information to grown ups and distribute registration forms.
What do you need? The welcome table needs a colorful, eye-catching covering. Position it where people can easily see it as their first destination. Besides a neat, bright tablecloth, I recommend using a tri-fold posterboard to display photos from a recent kids ministry event. I have a few photos in frames of my teachers too. This makes it easy for new kids to recognize the teacher. keep nametags, pens, registration forms and small toys on the table. I have special smocks (like the kind you get hardware stores) for my volunteers to wear. They stand out in a crowd and have pockets for holding things they may need. Each week, I give them conversation openers they can use to engage new kids in conversations. Some examples are, “What school do you go to?” or “When is your next birthday?”
I have found that many of my welcome table volunteers go on to work in other areas of the kids church. I hope you find these good ideas too!
Read more from Mimi by visiting her blog at Tools for Kids Church.