FBC Kids / Nursery Are Back!

FBC KIDS Life Group Relaunch

When are we planning to relaunch our children’s ministry Life Groups?
We are planning a Sunday, September 6, reentry date for our kids to return to their groups. This date was selected for the following reasons:

  • This gives our staff and volunteers enough time to prepare our facilities to safely accommodate the return of regular programming.
  • We must greatly alter the way we structure our classes. Therefore, we need time to train each leader in our new policies and procedures.
  • Sevier County Schools will have been back in session for a couple of weeks at this point. We can observe how things are going in our local schools and see how our ministry areas might be affected by what is taking place there.
  • Because children will have been in school for some time before our relaunch, it will give them time to get acclimated to some of the same safety precautions we will be taking on campus.
  • Due to Labor Day weekend, we typically see a reduced number of children attending that Sunday. This might provide a smaller, smoother relaunch than a normal weekend.

What times will our Life Groups meet?
Children will be able to attend Life Groups at both 9:30 and 11:00 a.m.

Why did we add a second Life Group opportunity on Sunday mornings?
According to our local, state, and national health officials, smaller groups reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19. To do our best at providing a safe atmosphere  for children and adults alike, we need to reduce the number of people in each class. By adding a second Life Group hour, this will assist in keeping our attendance at safe levels.
 
What about Bridge Kids?
Though Bridge Kids provides an excellent source of worship for the children each week, it also presents the greatest challenges - large groups, mixing of children, and eating together. By temporarily restructuring our Sunday morning programming, we believe this will enable us to safely and soundly teach the Scriptures to the boys and girls of our church in a consistent and winsome manner.

Is Bridge Kids being removed permanently?
No, we are not making any permanent decisions about programming right now. We are
simply doing whatever it takes to get kids back on campus studying God’s Word.

How long will these changes last?
We do not know when our leadership will feel that it is safe to return to a normal pattern of ministry. However, we are committing to doing this schedule (Life Groups at 9:30 & 11:00 a.m.) until January 2021. We will reevaluate our programming strategy as the new year approaches.

Who is going to lead the 11:00 a.m. Life Groups?
There are a few ways that we plan on coordinating and staffing our second Life Group option on Sundays. First, we are asking that some of our current Life Group leaders consider making a four-month commitment to teach at 11:00 a.m. each Sunday. This will mean that some might change the worship service they attend. However, it is only a short-term obligation. The second source of potential leaders will come from our current pool of Bridge Kids volunteers. Since we will not be having Bridge Kids for some time, we can involve those committed members in our Life Groups. Their third group of leaders can come from those who attend the 9:30 a.m. worship service. Many wonderful and faithful members have informed us over the years that they could not teach a Life Group because of the worship service they attend. By adding a second Life Group option, we have now opened a window of service for many to get involved in teaching the children of our church.

Where will the 11:00 a.m. Life Groups meet?
We have been blessed with wonderful facilities at FBC Sevierville where each grade has a minimum of two classrooms. By splitting our classes, we can house the 9:30 a.m. Life Groups in one room and host the 11:00 a.m. Life Groups in the other. This will ensure that proper sanitization can be maintained; it will also allow us to track children and adults easier in case of exposure to COVID-19.
 
What will children do during the hour that they are not in Life Groups?
If a child goes to Life Group at 9:30 a.m., he/she will attend the 11:00 a.m. worship service with his/her parents (or vice versa). This will accomplish two goals: (1) children will receive age-appropriate teaching from the Scriptures in their classes, and (2) families will have the opportunity to corporately worship the Lord together.

What policies and procedures are being implemented to ensure safety?
  • Life Groups will be sanitized using the Clorox 360 cleaning devices used in the Worship Center. Classes will be sprayed after each use and made ready for the next week’s gathering.
  • 9:30 a.m. Life Group leaders and children will not be permitted to enter the 11:00 a.m. Life Group room (and vice versa).
  • No one will be allowed to enter our Life Group hallways unless he/she is a leader or child. Parents must drop off and pick up their children at designated locations on each floor. A volunteer will be available to escort children to and from their classes.
  • All leaders and children will have their temperatures checked by a contactless thermometer before being allowed in a Life Group hallway. Anyone who has a temperature reading greater than 100.0 will not be allowed to attend Life Group that day.
  • As a house of worship, First Baptist Church of Sevierville is exempt from any government mandate related to the wearing of masks. However, we are strongly encouraging all leaders and children to wear a mask while in their Life Groups unless proper social distancing can be achieved.
  • Classrooms will be reorganized to allow for the greatest levels of social distancing possible. Tables and chairs will be spaced 6 feet apart. Partitions will be constructed and utilized if possible to allow multiple children to sit at the same table.
  • Sanitizer will be made readily available to each class.
  • Leaders and children will attempt to maintain social distancing standards at all times.
  • Each child will have his/her own supplies and storage bag provided.
  • No food or drink will be distributed during Life Groups.
  • Use of water fountains is prohibited.
  • Leaders and children must use sanitizer after each restroom visit.
 
What happens if someone gets sick?
If a leader or child tests positive for COVID-19 after being in his/her Life Group the previous week, all members of that particular class will be notified of potential exposure. Because we are creating smaller class sizes by opening up a second Life Group opportunity, the number of adults and children exposed will be greatly reduced. It is incumbent on everyone involved to notify Keith Allmon (Children’s Pastor) or Kelli Douglass (Children’s Ministry Assistant) of any positive test result.

What determines if a Life Group cannot meet? What about a whole grade or
the entire children’s ministry?

Each positive test result will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Our prayer is that these scenarios never happen. However, in the event that these possibilities become reality, Life Group leaders and children will be notified promptly.
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