Mesilla Park Community Church welcomed the children of pastors, staff and messengers at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Baptist Convention New Mexico in Las Cruces. Cindy VanPelt, Mesilla Park Community Church’s children's ministry co-director managed the children's program during the regular sessions. VanPelt began working for the church part-time in 2006 before becoming the full-time children's co-director five years ago.
Mesilla Park Community Church has developed policies to improve the safety and security of the children's ministry. All regular workers have a background check and training. The check-in system incorporates an information form that parents fill out, including the name of the children, birthday, and any pertinent medical information. The information is then entered into Planning Center, a subscription service for check-in and security. Once the information has been entered into the system, parents can type their child's name into a tablet, which then prints a name tag and parent pick-up ticket. Planning Center generates a random number that is printed on both pieces to facilitate matching parents with children. In addition to the check-in system, the church also has cameras in each classroom, providing an extra level of security.
Each kid's class has a Bible lesson, craft, snack, game and outside playtime. The church is committed to making use of any time with children to make sure that there is always a Bible truth shared. VanPelt said, “We want to help the children have a nice time when they are at church.”
Between four and 17 children were involved in the classes on Tuesday and Wednesday. Kid's classes were provided for both preschool and elementary aged children during morning, afternoon and evening sessions of the Annual Meeting.