The Children’s Ministry Network have produced an excellent resource called Make Yourself at Home. It’s a tool kit to help parishes think about how they welcome children and their families into church and what small changes they can make to improve on where they are at.
Check out this video that shows you how the resource works! https://youtu.be/cg9A12Xh1hU
As is stressed in the video, this is not a finger pointing activity, rather it asks people to take stock of all the things they are doing to welcome children and their families and to celebrate them, and then to see what steps they can take to be even more welcoming. We want families of all different shapes and sizes to feel loved, welcomed, included and be able to participate in the life of the church.
As each church is different this is not a one size fits all approach but a process for a small team to get together and work through.
The resource comes in a nifty box full of step by step guides and little creative prompts to get the ideas flowing. If you would like a hard copy of the resources please contact any member of the Children’s Ministry Network.
Lets get started is the first part of the process. Have a read and see what next steps your team needs to take.
First impressions count and being made to feel welcome makes a great first impression. The Children’s Ministry Network has come up with a list of Top Tips to welcome adults and children alike to church. These are simple suggestions that anyone can do to make sure people feel at home from the very outset. We hope you find them useful.
The Audit Cards are at the heart of the process. They allow you think about what is currently happening in your parish and what potentially could happen. Take some time to audit and be sure to look at the positives as well as what may need to be adapted.
Make Yourself at Home encourages parishes to observe what they are doing, audit what works, acknowledge what can be improved and then act to make the Church a more welcoming place. Audir, acknowledge, act. To kick start some ideas we have put together some Try Me Cards. These cards are colour coded ideas to coincide with the different areas from the audit cards – people, services, facilities.
We have also included Top 21 Ideas for you to have a look at. These can be a starting point and it is in no way an exhaustive list.
All of these and more are available in the Make Yourself at Home pack. Members of the team are available to meet with you at diocesan or parish level to go through the pack and to help get you started on your Make Yourself at Home journey.