Check-In Software seems to be the number one concern for children’s pastors these days. There are many articles written about it and several options for websites and software that protect our kids at church. At my small town church, we have 24-hour video surveillance, a security guard during services, and a check-in system. We use a check-in system that my husband built from the ground up. So, if you did not plan your children’s ministry by marrying a software engineer, like me, then you may need access to some other options, like KidCheck or KidMin App.
As our church attendance has doubled in the past decade, [it] means we no longer personally know all of our volunteers. We rely on background checks, as well as our discernment in interviews, to guide us in placing volunteers. This is a vital piece in our tech portfolio — EVERY church should vet their children’s ministry volunteers! We use Shepherds Watch from Group Publishing for our background checks.
Another respected security resource is Protect My Ministry. They serve more than 25,000 clients in areas that go beyond background checks: child safety training as well as staff and volunteer training. One nice service they provide is free re-verification of previously-checked volunteers — it’s always a good idea to do a background check for each volunteer annually.
I was drawn to children’s ministry because I had a strong desire to reach kids with the gospel through creative strategies. Many of us grew up with a Sunday school lesson that entailed a Bible story, coloring page, and a snack. But in the last decade of Children’s Ministry, the case for technology in the classroom has exploded, as kids are more interested in their personal devices than anything else. The days of just a snack and a story are long gone.
Based on a recent poll I administered to a forum of children’s ministry leaders, the second most used technology for children’s ministry was online curriculum. Some of the favorites listed were Hillsong curriculum and worship DVDs, Think Orange, and Deep Blue Kids. And if you need a free option, you can’t beat Open Life Church lesson plans. We are currently using the Bible App for Kids Curriculum in our preschool and we love it! Technology-rich curricula are fun and engaging inroads to reach kids in the way that they prefer to digest information.
You might also check out ShareFaith. One particular strength of their curriculum is that they also provide family devotionals, which go a step beyond in-church lessons and close the circle by including parents in the lessons their children learned earlier in the week.
Times are always changing. Technology is always changing. And although God is the same yesterday today and forever, I’m learning that I have to continue to grow in my knowledge of technology to keep up with the younger generations that God has called me to empower. I never thought of technology as a ministry, until I needed it to teach the Bible to the kids in my life. Now, I embrace many forms of ministry tech to enhance my influence on the community I love.