Children’s Ministry Manual
INFORMATION - POLICIES - HELPFUL RESOURCES - FORMS
Prepared by PCGlobal Network
This manual is continually being updated and revised.
You can get the latest version from the church office.
A Message from the Pastors
We are delighted that you have decided to become a part of the Children’s Ministry Team! (Unless you are still praying about it, then we hope you will!)
Our children’s ministry is very unique. In addition to providing traditional Christian educational programs such as Nursery, Preschool, and Children’s Church, we are committed to ministering to children from within the context of their culture, meaning, if it isn’t fun – they may not be learning.
We strive to make Praise Chapel/Living Hope a place where children love to be! That doesn’t mean we are about ‘fun’. We are about introducing kids to the Savior and helping them to lay a spiritual foundation that will last them a lifetime, but we are willing to do so in a manner that attracts kids and keeps them interested in pursuing their spiritual life.
The Need: According to Barna Research, the probability of accepting Christ is much greater among children, than by teens and adults. In children between the ages of 5 and 13, the probability of accepting Christ is 32%. It drops to 4% f or those between the ages of 14-18, and picks up to only 6% for the rest of life. The ripest field is children.
Let us challenge you as a volunteer, teacher, or parent to make every effort to connect with the children in your family and ministry in a very relational manner. Your primary objective is not to teach them Biblical “knowledge,” but to introduce them to a Biblical lifestyle – to help form heart attitudes, motives, actions, and dreams.
Your job is to introduce them to the living, personal God, not merely to a bunch of impersonal facts about God. Get to know your kids. Be relational not merely informational. Remember, they don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. If you help them meet Jesus, then their spiritual appetites for knowledge will never be quenched. If they never meet Jesus, they will soon grow tired of empty religion. It’s a high calling with profound eternal consequences, so HAVE FUN!
Because Jesus Loves Children,
Your Pastoral Team
Somehow, I had a feeling they’d be up here too.
The children will be in heaven!!
Table of Contents
MISSION / VISION / GOALS
Equipping Parents and Volunteers to Impact the World through Reaching and Teaching Children.
We want an ever-growing number of children to visit our church, finding a place where they feel loved, come to know Christ, and continue to grow through fun and life-changing experiences. We want parents to find a place where their lives are impacted by what they see happening in the lives of their children. We want their experience from the moment they arrive until they leave to be one of surprise and delight.
To provide a safe, secure and loving environment for children where parents feel comfortable leaving their child.
To help children feel a warm sense of belonging to their church family and to ensure each child feels welcomed and wanted.
To help each child understand that God is real and that a personal relationship with Him gives meaning to life.
To aid each child in accepting Jesus Christ and developing a dynamic relationship with Him.
To help each child understand that God’s Word is relevant and growth in Bible knowledge results in positive life changes in attitudes, actions and life-style.
To help each child grow in relationship to other believers and with unchurched friends.
To provide children the opportunity to participate in worship and ministry.
To support families in their responsibility for the spiritual nurture and growth of their child.
To provide godly men and women who are adequately trained to serve as positive role models as they minister with children.
To provide a life changing education for our children by utilizing quality resources and continually training and encouraging our volunteers.
OUR CHILDREN’S MINISTRY
Our nursery ministry consists of babies and toddlers under the age of four. We strive to meet the needs of each baby and toddler that enters our doors.
Our children’s church program is one of a kind! It is for children kindergarten through 4th Grade. Lively singing, funny skits, puppet shows, multimedia and other creative age-appropriate means are used to teach children in an environment they love. Kid’s Church, which meets during the Sunday adult worship services, utilizes state-of-the-art interactive curriculum to teach the kids through puppets, skits, videos, object lessons and other fun learning experiences. Parents are encouraged to attend at least once a year to experience it!
Our junior high class started from a need to serve our older Elementary kids and Junior High Kids. This is a chance for them to learn at their level and have open dialogue with their teachers.
We offer a variety of special events throughout the year such as summer events. For up-to-date information on upcoming special events please call the church office or check our social media.
Here is a chart of our overall ministry structure within the Children’s Ministry. It is helpful if you would direct your ministry questions or concerns to the appropriate leader
Care should be taken to direct complaints or criticism to the appropriate person, keeping the Biblical procedure outlined in Matthew chapter 14 in mind. Never complain about someone to others – that is gossip. Always go directly to the source and seek understanding first, then restoration of the relationship or situation. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, please feel free to then contact either your ministry leader. We are always open to your ideas, questions, or concerns. Unity does not equal agreeing, it means ministering in love.
6 & 7
Resources Available to Help
Be sure to check out the information inside the back cover of this manual about your FREE access to the largest online database of creative help and resources on the web! You can do a search on the subject you are teaching and find object lessons, stories, puppet scripts and other creative ways to enhance your lessons! It also has great training materials to equip you to be the best teacher possible.
If you need to purchase supplies, prizes or toys for your class, you need to know that only purchases approved by the children’s pastor in advance will be reimbursed by the church. We do not mind paying for things that are needed in our classes, but it needs to be planned and budgeted for.
The Gospel of Mark records that when people brought little children to Jesus, he took them in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. It is our desire to bring children to Jesus, too.
Because we recognize that we are a reflection of God's love to those in our care, we take seriously our responsibility to them. These guidelines are set forth to provide a safe and nurturing environment in which we can bring our children to the Savior.
We view ourselves as partners with parents, seeking to provide quality care and instruction in our children's ministries. All of our guidelines are designed to promote growth in God for each child and adult involved.
Everyone who teach es, helps, or cares for children under the sponsorship of Praise Chapel Rancho Cucamonga must follow these policies and procedures. Our children are God's precious gift to us. It is our desire to provide a safe, fun, and loving environment for them to experience God and the joy of learning more about how much God loves them. That is why the leadership of Praise Chapel Rancho Cucamonga have set up the following guidelines to be followed during Sunday mornings, Wednesday nights and all other programming.
It is our hope that these policies will serve as a guide for those of you caring for our precious children and as an encouragement for the parents leaving their children in our care.
THE 10 STANDARDS of EXCELLENCE
A CHILDREN’S WORKER SHOULD BE…
1. A CHRISTIAN
Our ultimate goal in the Children’s Ministry is to lead kids to Jesus, and then help them grow in their Christian life.
Therefore, our volunteers should have a personal relationship with Jesus themselves! If you are unsure about where you stand in your relationship with God, do not hesitate to talk to one of the pastors here at Praise Chapel. We would be delighted to open God’s Word and share with you how you can know for sure that you are saved and a child of God!
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.
2. REGULAR in church attendance and involvement. Not only the Children’s Ministry functions but also the
regular worship services and other church events.
Hebrew 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another -- and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
3. ENCOURAGING IN SPEECH
Our words should be encouraging, uplifting and positive. There should be no insults, cut-downs, gossip, slander or any talk where someone may be hurt, especially in the presence of children. Humor should reflect a walk with God.
Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
I Peter 4:11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.
Ephesians 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
Matthew 12:36 But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.
4. AN EXAMPLE IN CHRISTIAN CHARACTER
Because workers in our Children’s Ministry should be examples and a positive influence on the children they minister to, they should refrain from activities that do not glorify or honor God and in “gray areas” should be sensitive to the convictions of others in both their actions and conversation. In your personal life you should be committed to Bible study, prayer, and Christ-like living.
Titus 2:6-7 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness.
I Corinthians 6:19,20 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
5. RESPONSIBLE IN LEADERSHIP
This involves attending meetings and training or communicating when unavailable. This includes planning events or outings without the knowledge and clearance of the children’s pastor. Give respect to church procedures by following them.
I Peter 2:17 Show proper respect to everyone: Love the family of believers.
6. FAITHFUL IN COMMITMENTS MADE
When you give your word, keep it. If you say you will do something, or be somewhere, follow through on it. If something happens where you can not, then communicate that so that those affected can take necessary action.
I Corinthians 4:2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
Proverbs 28:20 A faithful [volunteer] will be richly blessed.
7. PURE IN RELATIONSHIPS
No teacher or volunteer is EVER to be alone with one child, especially in a washroom or outside of a program. This is for your own protection as well as the church's, and especially for the children. When there is only one teacher or volunteer present, always leave the door open and sit in view of the doorway. This is not an issue of trust as much as it is common sense and respect for our young children. We are to not only avoid sin, but even the appearance of sin. Adults are never to give a child a ride home without another adult present.
I Timothy 5:1,22 Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity….. Keep yourself pure.
Ephesians 5:3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity… because these are improper for God's holy people.
This includes being MODEST IN DRESS. Without “defining” exactly what to wear, just be sure that your clothing glorifies God, not yourself. Don’t allow your dress to distract others from spiritual things.
I Timothy 2:9 I also want women [AND MEN] to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, … with good deeds, appropriate for [MEN AND] women who profess to worship God.
8. RESPECTFUL OF AUTHORITY in word, action, and attitude.
Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
I Thessalonians 5:12 Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you.
9. IN PARTNERSHIP WITH PARENTS
The spiritual upbringing of children belongs first to the parents. The church’s role is to supplement the training in the home. Always seek to work with the parents of the children whom you minister to. Seek their input, listen to their concerns. Never side with a child against a parent, or contradict a parent in front of a child. You are on the parent’s team! If you have a concern about a parent, or a home situation, talk to the Children’s Pastor immediately.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
10. TEACHABLE IN SPIRIT
This may be the most important trait of any volunteer who is seeking to serve the Lord! We all have weaknesses, but if we remain teachable, there is always hope! We must be willing to listen to constructive criticism and prayerfully consider the input of others. We do not need to always agree, but if we fail to listen we hurt only ourselves and rob ourselves of another chance to grow.
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.
Proverbs 13:10 Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
Proverbs 19:20 Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.
In this day and age, it should not take much to convince you that child abuse is a problem – even for the church. Our first goal is to provide a safe secure, and loving environment for children and youth where parents feel comfortable leaving their child. Therefore, we have taken steps to protect both our kids and our workers. These policies are intended to protect both the children and volunteer workers and are intended to be a helpful resource in addressing the issues of child safety. All workers are expected to adhere to the following policies, regardless of their area of ministry. ANY EXCEPTIONS TO THESE POLICIES MUST HAVE THE PRIOR PERMISSION OF THE CHILDREN’S PASTOR.
1. VOLUNTEER QUALIFICATIONS
a. All volunteers must be regular attendees of the church for at least six months before being appointed to any
leadership position in the Children’s Ministry.
b. All volunteer workers must be 18 years of age or older unless working under the supervision of an adult who has met
the qualifications in these policies.
c. All volunteers in our Children’s Ministry must have a current signed application, interview and background check on
file with the church.
2. APPLICATION PROCEDURES
a. A Volunteer Application is available from the church office, from the children’s pastor, your ministry coordinator or
the back of the Children’s Ministry Manual. EVERY volunteer in the children’s ministry must complete and turn in a
b. Background Checks: Security background checks for persons 18 years and older, including a search for criminal
history, may be conducted through an agency authorized to perform a security background check. The results of the security background checks will be reviewed by the children’s pastor.
c. Confidentiality: All personal information voluntarily disclosed, the result of the security background check, or the
refusal of any person to participate in a program or activity in lieu of such disclosure requirements will be considered
confidential. The written results of the security background check initially will be reviewed by the children’s pastor.
After this initial review, if the children’s pastor determines that further review should be made, he may consult with
the pastor or children’s pastor to conduct further inquiries, as necessary, after obtaining permission from the
volunteer. Without the written permission of the volunteer, the information contained in the confidential portion of
the volunteer application and the results of the security background check will be disclosed only to the children’s
pastor or senior pastor.
d. Storage of confidential records: The children’s pastor will maintain a secure storage facility in the church office for all
volunteer applications and results of all security background checks. Volunteer Profiles and background checks may
be required to be updated from time to time, but only if the worker is still a current volunteer. Only the pastor and
children’s pastor will have access to these files.
e. Volunteers are reviewed annually for re-appointment to their current or new positions.
f. All volunteers must have the approval of the children’s pastor before being placed in any position of ministry to
g. Volunteers that are not approved for working with children for one reason or another will be graciously assisted in
finding another place of ministry in the church.
3. VOLUNTEER IDENTIFICATION
a. All volunteers must wear the appropriate identification whenever serving in our children’s ministry. Please make this
a high priority.
b. If you forget or lose your identification, please go to your ministry coordinator or children’s pastor and request a
temporary identification badge.
c. We will replace your first lost badge free of charge, but may need to charge for replacements after that.
d. Do not allow unauthorized individuals into your classroom, or trust children to their care. Please direct them to a
staff member instead.
4. CLASSROOM GUIDELINES
a. ALL visiting children must be registered upon their first visit. Nursery thru Kindergarten teachers should greet each
child and parent at the door to make sure the parent signs in the child.
b. Teacher/Student ratios: We will try to maintain the following teacher/student ratios. However, at all times there will
be a minimum of two adults in a classroom.
Nursery (0-24 mo.) - 1:3
Preschool (2-4 yrs.) - 1:4
Kindergarten - 6th grade 1:15
If the classroom exceeds these limits, it may have to be closed to ensure the safety and quality of education for each
c. Classrooms and teaching areas should never be locked while in use, with the exception of the nursery. Lights should
remain on at all times unless a video is being played.
d. Each door of a classroom should have a window. If there is no window, the door should be left open. Sight lines
through each window should remain unobstructed at all times.
e. Any room usage MUST be OK'd by the Children's leader to make sure there is adequate staffing and the rooms are
5. DISMISSAL PROCEDURES
a. Children must remain in the classroom until picked up by a parent, unless they are being led from class to their
parents by the children’s pastor or ministry coordinator.
6. VISIBLE MINISTRY POLICIES
a. As stated in the Standards of Excellence, no workers are ever to be alone with a child.
b. At least two workers should be present whenever possible.
c. If a child arrives early, prop the door open and remain visible.
d. Doors without windows should never be closed completely when children are inside with adults.
e. When holding a private talk with a student, especially of the opposite sex, be sure to sit in view of an open door or
7. PHYSICAL TOUCH / AFFECTION GUIDELINES
Physical touch and affection is important to a child’s physical and emotional development. It is an essential responsibility in nurturing lives. However, there is obvious danger with inappropriate touch or affection either intentionally or inadvertently in a children’s ministry. Physical contact with children should be age and developmentally appropriate. Be aware of and sensitive to differences in sexual development, cultural differences, family backgrounds, individual personalities, and special needs. The following guidelines are to be promoted for pure, genuine and positive displays of God's love:
a. ALL physical affection needs to be in the presence of other workers.
b. Physical touch or affection should be brief in nature, and never on a child’s private parts.
c. Preteen and older girls should be hugged from the side.
d. Kids on laps should be sitting on legs, not straddled over adult private areas.
e. Kisses are not acceptable.
f. When approached by a child physically, do not reject the child, but guide their affection to an appropriate contact.
Hugs are easily shifted, as are misplaced hands. When a child touches an adult in an inappropriate way
unintentionally, no reference to it should be made to the child, simply redirect their hand or body. If intentional,
simply correct with the same tone as any other correction and then move on. Do not make a big issue of it.
Welcome Letter from the Pastors 2
Table of Contents (this page☺) 3
Our Mission / Vision / Goals 4
Ministry Overview 5
Ministry Structure 6
Meet our Children’s Ministry Leadership Team 7
Resources Available to Help You 8
Our Child Safety Program Introduction 10
The 10 Standards of Excellence 11
Important Policies 13
Classroom Guidelines 14
Visible Ministry Policies
Physical Touch / Affection Policies
Restroom Procedures 15
Illness ▪ Minor Accidents
Major Medical Accidents
Child Care (non-Sunday and Wednesday) 16
Suspicious Activity / Reporting Violations or Suspected Abuse 17
Event Planning / Approved Activities 18
In Case of Fire or Other Emergency
Child Abuse Definitions & Symptoms, Indicators of Abuse 19
Room Stewardship 21
Student Enrollment Card and Special Needs 22
Relational Ministry Contact Sheet Explanation 23
Relational Ministry Contact Sheet 25
Volunteer Orientation and Training 27
Leading a Child to Christ 28 The Calling 29
How to join the Children's Ministry Team! 30
Volunteer Application 31
Background Check form 37
Incident Report 39
The KidologyWeb: Online Help for YOU! 42
8. RESTROOM PROCEDURES
a. When a child needs to go to the restroom, take at least one other child along.
b. When helping a preschooler in the restroom, always leave the door open far enough that other workers can see in.
Never shut the restroom door.
c. Do not allow the children to "watch" while another child is using the restroom.
d. Do not send very young children into the restroom with older children. Take them in age appropriate groups.
e. Children in grades 5-6 may be sent in pairs to the restroom without adult supervision. Teachers should monitor this
f. In bathroom emergencies - Use disposable gloves when handling soiled clothing. Soiled clothing should be placed
(un-rinsed) in a plastic bag and labeled with the child's name.
g. DIAPERS: We do not permit volunteers to change children’s diapers. Diapers must be changed by a parent. Inform
an usher immediately if a parent is needed for diaper changing. If a teacher admits their baby into the nursery during
a service they are working, they may, if completely necessary, sign an authorization form (provided by the nursery)
giving permission to change the baby’s diaper.
a. We have a well-baby policy. We do not provide care for sick children, our facilities and staff are too limited. If a child is
sick, they should not be accepted into the program. If they get sick, or are discovered to be sick during the program,
go get the parents. A child will not be admitted with any of these symptoms: matter in the eyes, frequent coughing,
runny nose (anything but clear discharge). If you suspect a child is ill, please call the staff member in charge.
b. Do not give children medicine of any kind. If a parent requests you give a child medication, refer the parent to the
staff member in charge.
c. We ask you not to volunteer in any ministry if you are sick. Please notify your ministry coordinator and request a
replacement. (Your help with this is greatly appreciated, if you are able.)
d. Bodily Fluid Accidents: All caregivers should wear disposable gloves when there is a possibility of contact with blood
or blood-containing fluids. Blood on surfaces should be cleaned with bleach and water disinfectant solution (1/4-cup
bleach, 1-gallon water). Use disposable towels and gloves for clean up. Discard all items into covered container. Vomit
areas should be cleaned up, and then covered. Special powder for this and gloves are available in the Cleaning
Supplies Closet. Again, report the incident to your ministry coordinator.
10. MINOR ACCIDENTS
a. FIRST AID kits are available in the Nursery and in many classrooms. Ice packs are also available in the freezer in
LIST YOUR LOCATION HERE.
b. Report any hazardous situations to the leadership immediately and correct if safe and / or possible.
c. If a child is injured in any way, please notify the staff member and fill out an Injury Report. All injuries, no matter how
small, must be reported to the parents. All HEAD INJURIES must be reported! When filling out the parent notification
section of the Injury Report, please do not use any other child's name.
d. Deal with it lovingly right away. Do not get the parent unless absolutely necessary. However, DO tell the parent
about the injury when they pick up their child, regardless of how minor the injury. If a parent reacts negatively, it is
wise to inform the children’s pastor so that he is prepared for a call, having heard your side of the story already.
11. MAJOR MEDICAL EMERGENCIES
In case of a serous emergency involving broken bones, convulsions, fainting, unconsciousness, or other serious injury, follow these procedures:
a. Keep calm and keep children and the injured as calm as possible.
b. DON'T MOVE THE INJURED CHILD.
c. Speak calmly, reassuring the child.
d. Send a fellow teacher for help. NEVER LEAVE THE INJURED CHILD.
e. The person in charge will call 911 after assessing the situation and give the information and directions as needed.
f. As soon as the leadership is notified, the co-worker should return to help in removing other children in the
department from the scene of the accident.
g. The person in charge (staff member) will locate the parents and advise them of the condition of the child and
procedure suggested by medical personnel.
h. Leaders will refer to the child's parents for details of preference of hospital and doctor.
i. In case the child is transported to the hospital, a leader will accompany the child, especially if the parents cannot be
located in a timely fashion.
j. As soon as possible, the teacher needs to return to his/her class to see that the other children remain calm and
k. An incident/accident form should be written as soon as possible with specifics of medical personnel
recommendations and name of hospital where the child was taken.
14 & 15
12. CHILD CARE (non-Sunday/Wednesday events)
When occasions arise that baby-sitting is required for church sponsored events other than Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights, the following standards must be met:
a. The person in charge of childcare will have gone through the application/approval process, understand safety
procedures AND must be present at the childcare site.
b. Strict adherence to the minimum of 2 adults staffing policy is necessary. All staff/leader personnel must be 18 years
old or older to be counted as “adults.”
c. High School & Junior High students are allowed to be helpers ONLY, and are not considered part of the 2 leaders
d. Any childcare activity MUST have a sign-in/out sheet for attendees. The sheet must be returned to the children’s
pastor at the end of the activity.
e. ALL ROOMS USED must be pre-approved ahead of time, AND returned to a ready condition for the next ministry.
Everything must be put away and cleaned up.
13. CORPORAL PUNISHMENT
Volunteers in the Children’s Ministry are to NEVER physically discipline a child at church. (If your own child needs such discipline, it is to be done at home, never within a program. Observers may not know it is your child.) See Guiding Behavior Guidelines next….
14. GUIDING BEHAVIOR
Discipline is not meant to be punishment. Instead, it is a time for teaching--the very kind of teaching Jesus did with His disciples. Teaching of this kind is two-told: first, to immediately stop inappropriate behavior; second, to help the child find another, more appropriate way to behave. Here are some procedures for correcting behavior:
a. Prevent Problems Before They Occur. The best way to avoid trouble is to stop it before it happens!
b. Set Clear Limits. Use the word "no" as little as possible because it does not teach the child appropriate behavior.
Instead, give the child information. For example, "We don't bite Timmy." Save the word "no" for dangerous situations.
c. Redirect Behavior. Try offering the child another activity.
d. Offer A Choice. When you say, "You may play with the truck or the car. Which one do you want?" you are giving the
child a choice.
e. Acknowledge Feelings. Use the words "I see..” often. Show the child that you understand.
f. Talk Through Problems. Here is a good example: "Ryan wants the truck. Timmy wants the truck. What can we do?
Here is another truck. Which one would you like Ryan?"
g. If you have tried redirection and talking through the problem without success, then it is time to call in the ministry
coordinator. It is the ministry coordinator’s responsibility to talk with the parents about behavioral issues.
A Few Tips to Keep in Mind:
1. Acknowledge a child's good behavior.
2. Talk about the action and not the child's personality.
3. Remember that seventy percent of communication is non-verbal.
4. When addressing a child's behavior, always lower your voice.
5. Realize that a child's behavior may simply be a cry for your attention.
6. Avoid hurrying a child. A hurried child is usually a frustrated child.
IF MISBEHAVIOR CONTINUES:
a. If the misbehavior continues, the teacher should seek the assistance of a ministry coordinator. The student should be
taken just outside the classroom and asked to state the offense and the desired behavior. A warning should be given
that if the misbehavior continues, parents or church leadership will be contacted.
b. If after returning to class the student continues to misbehave, every effort should be made to locate a parent and
request that they come deal with the situation. It may be appropriate to ask the parent to sit with their child in class
to ensure corrected behavior. If a parent is not available, a church leader (pastor, elder, etc.) may be asked to come in
and work directly with the child. If a phone call is to be made, it should ideally be done by the teacher observing the
behavior. However, in some instances, it may be more appropriate for the ministry coordinator or children’s leader to
make the phone call.
c. Because children have short memories from week to week, it may be necessary to repeat the steps outlined above.
Always give the child a ‘clean slate’ when they return after discipline. Don’t hold a grudge; take just as long as last
time to discipline.
d. Ultimately a child will not be permitted to disrupt a class continually. In time, and after much positive effort, a child
may be removed from a classroom due to misbehavior, but only after the children’s leader approves this measure. It
is a last resort, but it will be used when absolutely necessary.
15. SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY / REPORTING VIOLATIONS or SUSPECTED ABUSE
Individual Responsibility. In order to maintain a safe environment for all children and youth, all persons must be aware of their individual responsibility to report any questionable circumstance, observation, admission, or situation which endangers or threatens children. All questions or concerns of suspected activity of abuse or harassment by a volunteer should be reported to the children’s pastor only. Should the activity of concern involve a paid church employee, the matter shall be reported to the children’s ministry church board representative or to the chairman of the church board. Pending the outcome of an investigation, all information pertaining to the alleged incident should be kept confidential. A mere allegation of improper behavior by a volunteer will not be treated as an actual occurrence pending the completion of the investigation, and the church will take steps necessary to protect the integrity of the volunteer involved.
a. During services, children are not allowed to wander around the church grounds. If you see a child who is not in an
appropriate place, please approach them or contact a staff member. We will take the child to their class or to their
b. If you see an adult wandering around the building, please ask if you can help them find their way. Otherwise, for
security purposes, we do not permit people to wander around the children's classes.
c. Ushers will be available in the back of the sanctuary to assist teachers, parents, visitors or workers as needs arise.
d. Reporting Abuse:
A. In the event anyone personally witnesses an occurrence in violation of this policy, that person will be asked to
complete an Incident Report (form included in your manual and church office.) All efforts at handling the
incident should be documented. Anyone witnessing such an occurrence should consider the following
recommendations as to how such a situation should be handled to insure the security of the child and to
protect against physical, emotional, or psychological injury to all persons involved:
1. All incidents shall be reported immediately to the children’s pastor, if available, or to the adult leader in
charge of the event or activity. The incident must be reported by that leader to the pastor within 24 hours
of the leader being made aware of the incident.
2. The parents must be notified by the children’s pastor and/or leader within 24 hours of the leader being
made aware of the incident.
3. The children’s pastor and/or the church representative must immediately report the incident to the
church insurance company, church attorney, and denominational officials.
4. The children’s pastor and/or the church representative will notify the proper civil authorities, as directed
by the insurance company & church attorney.
5. The accused should not be confronted until the safety of the child or youth is secured, and only upon
advisement by the church attorney.
6. A prepared statement to the press and to the congregation should only be made by the church
representative as advised by the church attorney.
7. Personally secure the safety of the child, children, or youth. Do not leave the child unattended while
reporting the incident.
8. Do not personally confront the alleged or accused violator of the policy unless imminent injury or
damage is present.
9. The children’s pastor or another pastor will report the incident to the parents or guardians of the victim(s).
10. A duly authorized representative of ENTER YOUR CHURCH NAME HERE will be responsible for all
communication on behalf of the church.
B. In the event a child or youth reports alleged abusive conduct, regardless of where the conduct occurred (at
church, offsite church event or non-church event), the person initially contacted by the child must complete a
written Incident Report which should include, as much as possible, the precise wording of the child or youth.
C. In the event a child makes an accusation of abuse or neglect occurring in the child's home, the person initially
contacted will report to the children’s pastor for disposition of the matter.
e. Response to the Accuser
A. Allegations should be taken seriously, and emotional support given to the accuser. The care and safety of the
accuser is the first priority.
B. All efforts should be made to reach out to the accuser and the accuser's family, extending whatever pastoral
and professional resources may be needed.
f. Response to the Accused
A. Treat the accused with dignity and support. He/she will be relieved of his/her duties until the investigation is
B. Pastoral and/or professional resources should likewise be extended to the accused.
18 & 19
16. EVENT PLANNING / APPROVED ACTIVITIES
a. ALL events or outings involving children from ENTER YOUR CHURCH NAME HERE must be cleared through the
children’s pastor, even if you do not consider it a "church event." If it involves church children who you work with as a
church worker, the leadership MUST be aware for liability reasons.
b. ALL usage of children’s ministry rooms should be approved by the children’s leader or church office in advance
through a calendar coordination form.
c. Whenever moving children from the classroom, do a head count upon departure and arrival to make sure every child
is accounted for.
d. Workers are NEVER to take a child home without another adult accompanying them.
e. Never take a child or children outside of the church building or program room without prior consent of the
leadership and, in some cases, written permission from the parents. Permission slips are available from your ministry
coordinator or church office for your use.
f. A minimum of two approved adult leaders is required for any trip or out-of-class activity.
g. When an activity requires travel, all drivers must have a valid driver's license and current automobile insurance. The
number of persons per car should not exceed the number of seat belts. Each driver should have a copy of the activity
permission slip for those students riding in his/her car. Emergency contact phone numbers are of primary concern
and shall be available to the leaders. (All drivers must be over 18 and out of high school.)
h. When an activity is a local one, it is best if parents arrange their own transportation to and from the activity site. At
least 2 adults must stay until the last child is picked up.
i. Overnight Policies
* All overnight events must be accompanied by at least 2 approved and unrelated (by blood or marriage) volunteers.
* All overnight events should be pre-approved by the appropriate staff member (children's/youth pastor)
* There will not be overnight events for children younger than 3rd grade unless it is specifically a parent/child outing (3rd-
* At least two supervising adults attending the overnight need to have a ministry application and approval on file.
* Supervising adults are never to sleep in a closed room alone with any children / youth attending the event.
* If both male and female students are attending the overnight activity, there must be at least two male and two female-
approved adults present. All overnight activities must provide for separate sleeping accommodations for the male and
17. IN CASE OF FIRE OR OTHER EMERGENCY
1. Line up students by the door and take a head count.
2. Close windows and doors as you leave and take your class attendance or sign-in sheet with you.
3. Know your exit route and quietly and calmly lead students out by proper exit.
4. Proceed to a parking lot away from the building.
5. Once you have gotten clear of the building, take a head count and attendance.
6. Return to the building only after the "All Clear" has been sounded.
7. Please do not dismiss any students from outside.
8. For the safety of the children, parents may NOT get their child/children before the class has left the building.
It is understood that circumstances may arise that necessitate the need for deviating from this policy. For such infrequent and unusual situations that are not easily classified elsewhere in this policy, the standards and spirit of thi policy shall be recognized as being in force. Exceptions should be cleared with the children’s pastor in advance. (or) As soon as an unavoidable or uncorrectable deviation is observed, please notify the children’s leader as soon as possible for your own protection.
Child Abuse Definitions & Symptoms, Indicators of Abuse
Child Abuse Any mistreatment or neglect of a child that results in harm or injury
Physical Purposely injuring a child by hitting, biting, shaking, kicking, burning or throwing objects at the child.
Emotional Consistent and/or extreme crushing of a child's spirit with verbal attacks, threats or humiliation
Any sexual activity with a child- whether in the home or by a caretaker, including on the street by a
Sexual person unknown to the child. The abuser may be an adult, adolescent, or another child, provided the
child is fou years older than the victim.
Neglect Willingly failing to provide for a child's emotional or physical needs: failing to offer guidance and
SYMPTOMS, INDICATORS OF ABUSE
The following signs and symptoms do not always mean abuse. Repeated incidents of injury combined with behavioral problems, inconsistent stories, etc., are typical indicators a family may need assistance. Fears of a teacher, adult worker or relative, may indicate something unhealthy in the relationship.
Physical unexplained bruises, welts, broken bones
cuts or scrapes, burns, missing hair
injuries or redness around the genitals
injuries at different stages of healing
injury or medical condition that hasn't been properly treated
bodily complaints related to stress-stomach aches, headaches, vomiting without cause
suicidal gestures or self mutilation
substance abuse or eating disorders
appearance may be one of poor grooming and dirty, clothing may be in poor condition or not suited to the
Child's aggressive or withdrawn behavior- especially as a shift in personality
Behavior unusual fears (of certain people, going home, etc.)
craving for attention
fatigue without physical cause and/or depression
lack of concentration, school problems- misbehavior
hunger, begging for food, stealing
frequent tardiness or absence from school
unusual knowledge of sex, explicit language, inappropriate behavior with peers
knowledge beyond developmental age
regression to earlier behaviors such as thumb sucking, bed wetting, etc.
afraid to be alone with certain people or "clingy" with other people
pseudo-mature behavior (artificially mature)
Adult's harsh punishment of child in public
Behavior refer to the child as "difficult", "different" or "bad"
seem unconcerned about the child
give conflicting stories about injuries
become defensive when asked about the child's health
presence of family stressors - loss of job, financial difficulties, marital problems
family history of violence or substance abuse
parents who were physically or sexually abused as children
families in which children or women are seen as possessions; male authoritarian and rigid households; also
strongly religious homes in combination with these factors
Children may talk about being abused. Take what they say
and any suspicions you have, seriously.
21 & 22
Our facilities are a sacred trust from the Lord for the purpose of ministry.
The way in which we treat the Lord's House is often a reflection of our attitude toward Him. If truly everything we do should glorify God, the same
is true of the rooms we minister in!
Therefore, the following guidelines are being established to help keep our ministry rooms in a state that brings glory to God and demonstrates that
He is worthy of our best!
A FEW GUIDELINES TO KEEP IN MIND!
1. Always attempt to leave the room better than you found it.
2. Put things back where you found them.
3. Please leave the room with all the chairs and tables neat and in their proper place.
4. When you leave, look over the room and ask yourself, "Is there anything I
can do to make it look a bit sharper?" Also, it is wise to ask, "Does the
appearance of this room speak well of the ministry to visitors?"
for your cooperation in the stewardship of
Class Enrollment Cards
and Special Needs
Here is a sample of the CLASS ENROLLMENT CARD.
This card is to be filled out for EVERY child who
visits and attends a program at ENTER YOUR CHURCH
NAME HERE. Three copies of this card need to be filed:
1 copy is for the church office, 1 copy is for the ministry
coordinator and 1 copy is for he teacher/club leader to
keep so that they can follow up with the student. It is
important to have any special needs or allergies filled
out on this card. This card only needs to be filled out the
first time a child visits a class. And then if there are any
Volunteer Orientation & Training
It is our desire to make sure that our volunteers have adequate orientation and training so that they can be as effective as possible in their ministry to children. Orientation is offered each year and as needed throughout the year. However, orientation is always available by appointment with either the children’s leader or the appropriate ministry leader.
See Children’s Ministry Leader for Info.
We also strive to provide quality training opportunities for our volunteers to help them gain new skills and sharpen old skills so that they can be their best as they serve Jesus.
Each children’s ministry has periodic meetings to help train and equip you to be the best teacher you can be. Please keep informed through asking your ministry coordinator, attending ministry meetings, checking the weekly bulletins, or by calling the church office.
Leading a Child to Christ