Safety is non-negotiable in children’s ministry. You can have the very best curriculum, most creative activities, and dynamic decor, but if you have not made safety a priority, you could be headed for potential disaster. We can never fully protect our ministries or our kids from all impending harm, but it is our responsibility to be proactive when it comes to safety.
One of the places we need to be super vigilant is our Registration Process. There should be a registration process in place at every campus. Your role to ensure the safety of our children is to make sure that every child has a name tag, whether it be a sticker, name tag or lanyard. Each child should have one, and here’s why!
A True Story
Many years ago we had just implemented our very first registration process at one of our sites when something unthinkable nearly happened.
The Sunday was everything as normal. All the children had been checked in on our online registration and had been escorted to class by their parents. We were just finishing up with our worship in the grades 2-5 class, when I was called to the registration area by the partner leader heading up the process.
There was a dad demanding to check out his daughter as they had a family crisis and needed to leave immediately. With our campus nearly doubling in size, we did not know all the parents as of yet, so we needed to be extra careful. Thankfully we had a solid procedure in place.
I walked up to the dad and calmly explained that we needed the corresponding check-out sticker before we could release the child. He got very agitated and said that he must have lost the sticker on the way to church. Thankfully, my team was super vigilant and the HOD looked up the child’s documentation to double check if it was ok to let the child go, just to find out that the phone number we had on file was not the one he was providing as a second check. This made us uneasy. By this time the child had hear her father and was asking to go to him.
In all this commotion we said we just needed to confirm with his wife as it was her number we had on file, when he shouted angrily and stormed out. It was only when we spoke to the mother that we found out that they were busy getting a divorce and was fighting over custody of the child.
Oh my word! Can you imagine if we had just let the child go with the father?
This is why everyone working with our children need to know how our registration works, how the children are checked-in and out and what protocol or procedure to follow in the case of an emergency.