Repeats – MultiService Kids

Wendy Douglas —  August 25, 2011

What do we do with our kids who are here for multiple services?

This is a question we faced as we recently went to three services. We have parents that serve in one service and attend another service which means their children are in Kidzplayce for more than one service. We have affectionately nicknamed these kids “repeats.” What we found is that kids who are repeats tend to either zone out or become disruptive in the following services. We decided to tweek two of our services to make them a bit different.

Our first service at 8:30 tends to be smaller in numbers so we have adjusted it to be a more intimate time. Our teacher sits on the edge of the stage and the kids gather on the floor around her. The kids are using their Bibles for the lesson much more in depth during this time and are even doing some drills to help them learn how to use their Bibles. We have taken out small groups during this time and have replaced it with more of a group discussion time. The other aspects of the service like worship time have stayed the same.

Our third service at 11:30 has the largest number of repeats so we needed to do something different making a time especially for them outside of the regular class setting. We use this time to go deeper into the message that we learned about during the previous service. We have constructed it to be similar to a small group setting where we sit in a circle with a leader who will facilitate a discussion about the lesson for the week. We also add a bit more during this time which could be a craft or game that centers around the message as well.

We are evaluating these changes on a regular basis to see what is working and what isn’t. We want our kids to have a wonderful experience in every service and that includes our repeats.

What are you doing with your repeats?

Wendy Douglas

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Wendy is married to a warrior for the last 18 years and Mom to three boys. She volunteers in KidzPlace at The Gathering Church in Sevierville, TN. She reads almost anything she can get her hands on. In addition to contributing to Kidmin1124, she maintains her own blog called Saved Sister at http://savedsister7.blogspot.com/.

6 responses to Repeats – MultiService Kids

  1. I have a small number of “repeats”, one being my own son. I have given some thought to what to do differently for them,but have not ,yet, made any changes. I know that as our ministry grows I will have to look more into this. I will give your ideas some thought.

    Matt N.

  2. Years ago, even before I was on staff, we started a program for kids that are with us for multiple services. (It was originally called Kingdom Kids, then Quest, and now they are looking at another name change; I say “they” because I’m not over Children’s Ministry anymore.)

    When we went to multiple services, we had the same programming for each service. So, at first we had kids going through the same lesson; we quickly learned that wasn’t ideal.

    So, Kingdom Kids was implemented. It was basically a time of structured play. We felt good knowing that kids already had 75 minutes of instructional time (in big group and small group). And we also know that kids connect (with adults and with each other) through play.

    We tried to make Kingdom Kids (or, Quest) a lot of fun, to make it an incentive for kids that are there for 2 services. It was only allowed for kids who were there for 2 services, whether their parents served or were in membership classes. An unexpected benefit was in recruiting. At least once per quarter, we had a parent come to us and say, “We need to start serving, because our child really wants to go to Quest every week.”

    I wrote this on our parenting blog, which gives some more details:

    http://childrenatgrace.blogspot.com/2010/05/what-is-quest.html

  3. Good thoughts Wendy.

    Currently we are trying to get kids who stay for multiple services to serve in a ministry. It might be helping to set-up for the next service, or joining our kids praise team, or even serving wherever their parents are serving at (as appropriate).

    I would love to hear more about some of the growth opportunities you and your team are providing.

  4. Thanks Matt. I know that when the repeat numbers are small that it has to be looked at differently for sure.

    Joey- we actually considered the structured play idea and due to not having a specific room for our repeats, we decided that a structured small group kind of setting works best. I love the idea due to the social aspect of it – the kids and leaders getting to know each other even more and the opportunity for conversations that might not happen during a lesson setting.

    Jeff- we too have several of our kids serving during this time and we are tryng to encourage more to do so. They are limited as to where they can serve due to age, so this has been a challenge. Are you asking about what we are doing in the third service?

  5. We just began our “2nd service kids” class 3 weeks ago. We began a marriage class that is available at either our 9am or 10:45am service, and had an immediate influx of kids who were staying more than one service. Right now we are running 30ish kids in our 2nd service class (we are still looking for a “proper” name for this class, too!).

    We have a couple who have been teachers in our children’s ministry for a while, and they were excited to start this adventure. I give them the lesson for the weekend, and they build games around the memory verses, Bible Story, etc. This is an extra way for reinforcement for the kids, and using different learning styles too. Currently we only have a class available for 1st-5th grades. We are evaluating whether to open up a class for 4s-Kindergarten. Kids MUST attend their 1st service class for them to be eligible for the 2nd service class. If they stay in “big church” with their parents, they may not come that week to the special class. It’s less class like – and more fun. My teachers are equipped, though, to handle questions or address concerns of the kids that come up. They love building relationships with the kids, and are amazingly flexible.

    Of all of the feedback I have received, the Pastors seem to be the most appreciative of this. As Parents in Ministry, our kids sometimes get the yucky end of the stick (being at church for hours and hours). My 5 and 7 year olds are at church for 7 hours every Sunday. They have their duties for set-up and tear-down, and in between they were in 2 services. My 5 yr old son (he’s so cute), ends up telling the teacher of his 2nd class what she forgot to do! My 7 yr old daughter just becomes restless. I think if we can help Pastor’s Kids, and other kids, from hating/resenting church because it’s boring…it’s too long…etc, we should try to accommodate that.

    I’m excited to see how this class will be utilized after our extra class is over at church. I think it will take some excuses away from people who don’t want to volunteer because of the kids (yes, they’ll find other excuses). I think it will greatly help our Pastors and their families, and staff too.

  6. That’s a good point about the ages. We started Kingdom Kids / Quest with 2 age groups — 4k/5k and 1st – 4th grade. (We we went to 2 services on one of our smaller campuses, we just started with Quest for 1st – 4th grades). Younger kids can just go through the same lesson twice.

    Number of kids makes a difference, as well as facilities. We liked having more space, or an opportunity to go outside. But even in a classroom we would often watch movies, do crafts (even the cheap stuff from Oriental Trading), and play board games. The crafts and games can easily be stored in a bin in the class or storage area.