Air Freshener Please

At the beginning of this week, my family was able to take a short vacation. When we got to the hotel, I had one bad encounter after another. The check in person treated me as if I were an inconvenience, the bathroom didn’t have a toilet roll dispenser (just a roll of TP on top of the toilet tank lid), the shower mat was torn, the shower drain was clogged, the door handle came off, and there was a draft from under the door. Needless to say, I was a bit nit-picky about the room. Anyway, it got me thinking of hotel rooms in general: good ones and bad ones that I’ve stayed in. I noticed one thing in common with all of the rooms: no air freshener for the bathroom.

Now, let’s all be honest. We all have some sort of air freshener in our bathrooms at home… and for a good reason! Why not supply hotel bathrooms with an air freshener. It’s not like we don’t use the bathroom when we are on vacation. We warn family ahead of time that we are going to use the bathroom, we turn on the vent fan (if there is even one), or we bring our own air freshener (which is what my wife does). Why don’t hotels just put a little bottle of air freshener or a Plug-In or something? Boy, that little thing would make a huge impact in many people’s perceptions of that hotel if they did.

Anyway, it got me thinking about children’s minsitry… don’t ask me how I got to children’s ministry from a stinky bathroom. What are the areas in our children’s ministry that we are overlooking? What are the “duh” things that parents and kids need that we just aren’t seeing? We get so caught up in our programs, environments, curriculum, events, etc. that sometimes we miss the most obvious of things. Now, I’m not saying that all that stuff isn’t important. It is! And we need to do all those things with excellence. I just think that we need to make sure that we have something in place to help us see those areas that we overlook. Maybe it’s enlisting a group of people to come and check out children’s ministry from time to time and take note of things. Maybe it’s putting together a focus group of parents and kids to find out what they are needing from children’s ministry. Maybe it’s as simple as spending a few more intentional minutes talking to kids and parents before or after a service to gauge where they are at.

I, for one, plan on coming up with some sort of system to help our children’s ministry be the best it can be and the most relevant it can be. I want to supply the kids and families we serve with “air freshener.”

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