Even in the midst of Summer Jubilee (same Sunday summer schedule, but it looks different, and lets our regular, faithful Sunday Saints enjoy a season of rest and refreshment) and Vacation Bible School (ours is the first week of June), I’m already thinking about this fall, next year, and five years from now. So to get the collaboration ball rolling, we planned a Children’s Ministry Stakeholder Event. A stakeholder is any individual or group who can affect or is affected by the actions, decisions, policies, practices, or goals of the organization.

We will celebrate where the Lord has taken us, brainstorm to meet the needs of our continued growth, and dream for where we are headed over the next five years. Any and all stakeholders are invited. Dessert is included!

With giant post-it notes in hand, we discussed the parent survey which included the following questions:

What areas of McEachern Kids has your child(ren) participated in over the last year? (check all that apply)…then listed everything from Sunday school, Children’s Church, VBS, Winter Ball, Faith Milestones, everything.

What areas of McEachern Kids would you plan for your child(ren) to participate in over the next two years? (check all that apply)…then listed everything as in the first question.

Please ask your child, “What is one (or more) of your favorite parts of going to church?”

What areas would you want your child(ren) to participate in if offered by McEachern Kids? (check all that apply)…then listed Cherub Choir, McEachern Kids Glee Club, Manners & Etiquette, Self-defense, Book Club, 5th Grade Transitions (cell phone safety, anti-bullying, Wonderfully Made/faith & sexuality, healthy communications, etc.), Life Skills, Other (please elaborate).

What is the best way to communicate with you?…then listed church website, email, text, postcard, Facebook, Instagram, flier, newsletter, bulletin, other (please elaborate). Just to let you know: email is still king!

How can McEachern Kids help you share and build the faith of your family at home? (please elaborate)

How will you serve this year?

The event itself did not turn out the response numbers I had hoped, but those who did attend spoke well of the ministry and what was important to them, championed for their ‘if we only did one other thing outside of Sunday school and Children’s Church what would it be’, and what we can take a break from. I heard each one. As a result, it was more important HOW we did what we will do, and I am so grateful to have had a sounding board for the logistics.

“There is no reason for not having a published twelve-month calendar other than a lack of discipline. A published twelve-month calendar is a huge gift to your families. Parents plan their lives around sports calendars, school calendars, job deadlines, career commitments, and community events. If you don’t get your calendar into their hands, the best you can expect from families is their leftovers.” Annette Safstrom, from Sustainable Children’s Ministry

How have you begun to evaluate the past year and plan for the next school year?