More and more churches are offering a preschool for families in the community. This is a great thing as it fills a need for affordable childcare and pre-Kindergarten education. The church preschool can be a great ministry to use to reach new families.
Now, make no mistake about it, the primary purpose of any church preschool must be to lovingly nurture and teach young children in their care in a Christ-like atmosphere. While this must always remain the primary purpose of the preschool it is also wise to recognize that the church preschool offers a great opportunity to reach new families that might not attend your church or any church. Here are five ways.
- Gift and Invite! Ensure every preschool family receives a gift and an invitation at different times throughout the year to attend worship or some other event. Back to school in September, Christmas, Easter and at the end of the school year for Vacation Bible School are great times to gift and invite. A small gift such as a church coffee mug filled with chocolates and an invitation to Christmas Eve or a small flowering plant for Easter are great ways to gift and invite.
- Be Present. At least once a month or more the Lead Pastor as well as other church staff should be greeting parents and children on a regular preschool morning. One of the pastors should lead a monthly chapel service to connect with the children. Being present at the Christmas Concert and other events is also important and this time should always be used to give a soft invite to parents and families.
- Offer a Parents Night Out. What a wonderful Christmas gift for families to offer 4 hours of childcare for busy parents to shop, wrap or just enjoy some adult time during the Christmas season. Send the kids home with a craft that invites the family back for Christmas Eve.
- Build Relationships Through Groups. Try offering a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group or a book group or a Bible study. This will not only allow parents to get to know one another and build community but will allow church staff and lay persons to build relationships with preschool parents.
- Sponsor a Family Mission Project. Have parents come in early one day at preschool and package rehydration kits or stock the food pantry or visit a nursing home. If you are making something to give away like rehyrdation kits be sure to have a time of dedication at your Sunday service that you invite preschool families to attend.
I have never heard someone talk poorly about a church preschool. I am sure there are bad church preschools but I think most are really great. Why not take your preschool ministry to the next level and come up with some creative ways to offer Christ to your preschool community.
What are other ways to utilize your preschool for reaching new people?