Welcome back to our brand new series called “Sunday Morning Strategies” where we are examining things you can do in your Sunday morning children’s ministry programs to accommodate children of divorce and children from various types of modern families. There are certain things you can incorporate into your ministry to specifically address the issues and concerns of these children in your churches, and we will get to those later in this series. However, we’re going to start with some of the fundamentals underlying your ministry. Today, we are going to talk about forms and how some simple adaptations can help you to learn about the kids in your ministry who aren’t living in what we might call “traditional homes.”
You’ve got to love forms, right? Whether you collect information in a computer database or still use a paper based system, most churches collect some sort of information about the kids that come through their doors and their families. Given that roughly 40% of children do not live with their married biological parents, it is important to consider whether or not your forms reflect the changing shape of American families.
How would a family that was cohabiting fill out your intake forms? What about a divorced family where the child splits time between two houses? What about a single-mother and her kids? How would grandparents who are living with their grandchildren fill out your forms? Do you know which kids in your ministry come from non-traditional family forms? Do you have a systematic way of sharing this information in a confidential way with the children’s teachers and/or small group leaders?
Take some time this week to sit down with the forms you use for your children’s ministry and consider how they might need to be revised to be more accommodating to kids from divorced and single-parent homes. Here are some suggestions on things to consider: