How Does “Attend One, Serve One” Affect Volunteers’ Kids?
I’ve long been a proponent of “attend one, serve one:” volunteers fully commit to attending an entire worship service (no slipping in late and slipping out early) and fully commit to serving during an entirely different service (that way, guests don’t show up to a ghost town once the service is in progress).
A1S1 is a great goal if you have two or more services at a location. But it creates an interesting dynamic for the children of volunteers. Speaking as a four-time parent, making my kids sit in the same environment twice wasn’t always helpful to them or their leaders or to the other kid who may or may not have been bitten by my kid because she was looking for something to jazz things up.
You know. Theoretically.
That’s why I love our Summit Kids team’s approach to this challenge. They call it Service Station, and it’s an alternate environment for children of volunteers and staff. Not all of our campuses have the room to hold Service Station, but it’s a huge win for the campuses that have the ability. Here’s more from our Summit Kids Pastor Josh Navey:
Service Station is designed for kids Kindergarten through fourth grade. It’s generally a more play-based service that includes a lesson review time as well as service projects for the community.
Because it’s a consistent group of kids, the relationships are stronger and the leaders really get to know their class. I think we’d all agree that giving kids a play-based, relationship-rich, serving-focused 75 minutes is a win for everyone! Not only does it create an excitement for the kids to attend church, it also helps our regular classroom leaders, who don’t have to hear “I’ve already heard this!” And…if a volunteer has kids who can’t wait to go to church, then we’ve taken a big step towards creating a culture that promotes consistency.
Some of the service projects that we’ve taken on have included:
- Cards for nursing home residents
- Thank you cards for public school teachers (for our campuses that meet in a school)
- Thank you gift bags for teachers at any local school
- Cleaning up around the campus
- Writing letters to missionaries
- Helping tear down at a mobile campus
Our typical format is as follows:
- Game options – 20 mins
- Elementary worship packet (Lesson Review) – 10 mins
- Memory verse time – 7-10 mins
- Service Project or Short Video – 15 mins (RightNow Media, curriculum lesson video)
- Snack – 5-7 mins
- Game options – 15 mins
We’ve discovered that campuses with a Service Station environment usually have a higher number of engaged volunteers in the “young parent” demographic. If you’re looking for a way to build an attend one, serve one culture, why not give Service Station a try?
photo credit: Kayla Bailey