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Although we tend to think that we need to spend huge amounts of money to create visually exciting entrances and arenas for our ministry, there is a lot that you can do without this expense.
Mark Waltz (Granger community Church) has produced a small book- 'How to Wow Your Church Guests'. Inside the pages of this book you'll find 101 ideas or suggestions to consider and suggested action steps to create a welcoming environment for visitors to your church- ideas that are also relevant for your children's ministry. And they don't cost an arm and a leg!
I've included just one from this book in this post. Most of these ideas are straight-forward and simple to implement, and you certainly don't need to follow each suggestion. But it's worthwhile to consider for families and children who walk into your children's ministry area for the first time. Maybe, it will start discussions with your team about other ideas that will work for your kidmin area.
I've included here the suggestion of bright, uplifting music. This is something that we have been doing for some time in our children's ministry and we've really noticed the difference it makes for kids who walk into the area and hear our theme songs playing. They settle down more easily and often sing along with the music before we start our program.
What a great way to begin and a terrific introduction for new families to hear as they drop off their kids for the first time! It's not something that's difficult to do.. and I actually think it sets the mood for the team as well as the kids. You might like to finish your program the same way. I play music while kids are working on crafts or other activities, too, during our program time.
Read Mark's article below.
Purchase his book here...
'Emotion, a journal of the American Psychological Association, reported on the positive effects of music in a 2008 study with 32 college students in Sweden. Happiness/elation and nostalgia/longing were more likely to be experienced when listening to music than when students were not listening to music.
Most of us do not need a psych study to affirm the uplifting effects of music on our general state of mind. While most of us don't consciously consider whether our mood is enhanced by listening to tunes, most of us would agree that music playing in our car, home, office or earbuds at least reflects our emotional feelings, most likely improving our mood.
If our general experience, and psychological studies verify the benefits of music, why not have some tunes playing when people walk into your building or drive onto your campus? Music sets a tone. It communicates something is happening. In a mall, a restaurant, and at your church, music- even background music- sets up the environment and helps people experience a boost emotionally. All that's true, given you play music that's uplifting. Play some angry Nine Inch Nails or a funeral hymn, and you'll project a very different mood- one that may agitate or depress your guests. Music is powerful.
Create a playlist that lifts, and welcome your guests with music.'
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