Tip: Talk with your children and youth leaders about their communication and involvement of parents in a hybrid ministry setup. 

As churches continue to further reopen their physical facilities for ministry activities, we hope all realize that the transition to physical reopening does not automatically mean the elimination of an online ministry component. While it may not be the same as what’s been done the last several months, recognizing not all children and youth will be able to join in-person experiences immediately, retaining a level of online engagement is still crucial. 

Children and youth ministry will have their own considerations and approaches when having both an in-person and online experience. Have a conversation with both groups of leaders to see what common elements/approaches multiple ministries within the church are using and what needs to be distinct between each. 

For any ministry, one key factor is distinguishing between the in-person vs online experience. One cannot be simply transposed into the other. Both have their strengths and limitations in how it can best be used. If you are planning to host both simultaneously, it’s advised to have a separate in-person and online host to guide those respective participants. 

For children’s and youth ministry, another key factor is parental involvement and communication. 

For children’s ministry, especially the younger ages, there needs to be additional consideration for some level of parental involvement. With in-person, the parent would at least need to be consulted as they are the ones bringing their children to and from that program; a similar (if not more involved) consideration needs to be taken for online activities as parents typically will need to set up and potentially assist/participate in that online program. Even if some children can work independently, it is good to have some relatively immediate feedback available for parents to follow-up. 

For youth ministry, the communication both before and after an in-person or online event is vital. While youth are more likely to engage independently, that typically means they can engage without informing their parents. As such, it’s vital for youth leaders to ensure parents are aware of all the in-person and online activities before they occur and offer some follow-up afterwards. 

If you or your children/youth leaders would like some further help in this, contact Tanya Yuen (tyuen@baptist.ca, 416-620-2945) about children’s ministry and Alvin Lau (alau@baptist.ca, 416-620-2946) about youth ministry.