Welcoming Students Back After Quarantine
While self-quarantining in recent weeks, there was more than once the song, “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands,” played in my mind. Sometimes that’s hard to believe when the world seems turned on end, but at the end of the day, we serve a good God, who really does have this whole big world in His hands.
Despite my trust in God and His goodness, I have to admit it felt like this quarantine was never going to end, but now it’s starting to look like some of us can start making plans to resume our normal lives. For many of us that means church will be getting back into full swing before long. I for one could not be happier. I have missed my church. I have missed my Sunday School class, and I’ve missed my church family. Can you relate?
Even though we are all probably feeling a little excited about normal life making a come back, there are still things that need serious consideration as we welcome back our ministry kids after this quarantine.
Many churches are making preparations to resume normal services, but “normal” is actually the “new normal.” This means that many of our churches are putting into place new rules about social distancing and sanitizing.
These new rules will look similar in some ways from church to church, but there can also be a range of differences as well. If your church is instituting new rules following the COVID-19 Pandemic, make sure you adhere closely to these guidelines. These guidelines will be especially important for those working with children.
These rules will seem very foreign and new to your students. It will be important that you take time upon gathering again to go over these new rules with your students and make sure they understand why these are important, as well as how to follow them. Most importantly, you should be a good example yourself.
Don’t Forget Compassion
In the midst of our excitement to get back to church and classes, we must also take a moment to consider that everyone will have been affected by COVID in different ways. Some of your students may have viewed this entire event as just an inconvenience which they are now glad to have over. Other students, however, could have been affected on a far deeper level.
Before your students return back to church and class, make an effort to find out which students were affected personally by this virus. This could include friends or family members who were infected. Other students may have been affected financially through a parent’s job loss. Preparing yourself ahead of time for how this event touched each of your students will allow you the chance to minister appropriately when everyone can be together in church and class again.
A Day for Celebration
Even though COVID-19 has certainly been a time of trials and tragedy, that does not mean we cannot still celebrate our reunion. Your students are going to be excited to see you and their friends on that first day back in regular church. Make sure that this is a special day for everyone.
A Welcome Back Party is a great way to let everyone express their excitement. Even though you’ll be celebrating and having fun, there should be a time set aside during your celebration when your students can talk about how COVID affected them. This can also be incorporated with a time of prayer for the individuals and families that have been affected.
If you have very young children in your class who will need extra help remembering new social distancing or sanitizing rules, you can incorporate these new rules into party games during your Welcome Back Party such as Hand Sanitizing Relays and a Social Distancing Balloon Toss.
As our nation and world pull out of the COVID-19 Pandemic, make a special effort to express to your students that it is our good God who still has “The Whole World In His Hands.” He is in control during the good times and bad.
You can see all of the articles by Sarah on Sunday School Zone.