Churches of all sizes are making the leap to embrace technology these days. Hymns and praise song lyrics are projected on screens so attendees don’t have to bury their noses in a book. Even the smallest house of worship can afford to launch a website to connect with their community. Now, church paging systems are starting to catch on as well.
Larger “mega” churches can benefit from being able to page ushers and parking attendants to handle the flow of traffic in the interval between multiple Sunday services. However, the childcare arena is where a church pager system really comes in handy for congregations of any size.
Children’s Church – Paging All Parents!
Not too many years ago, kids of all ages were expected to sit with their parents through a grownup church service every week. If you fussed or squirmed, your parents might have to haul you out in the foyer to “put the fear of the Lord” in you. In today’s more humane worship environment, we realize that children have different needs than adults when it comes to church attendance.
Now, the nursery and a separate ‘children’s church’ are becoming the norm. This means your staff members need a way to notify Mom or Dad when their little angels require parental intervention. If you have a church paging system, attendees feel more comfortable (1) leaving their infants and toddlers with caregivers. Expect attendance to increase as parents enjoy a more relaxing worship experience.
In most churches, nursery staffers are all volunteers. These dedicated servants are donating their time to watch congregants’ children. As with any free benefit, people sometimes don’t really value the time of those volunteering. It’s pretty normal for folks to get caught up in conversations and socialization after a service. With time slipping away, nursery volunteers are left waiting, wishing that last parent would just pick up their kid already! With a church pager, they can send a polite reminder.
Types of Church Paging Systems
Obviously, having a beeper go off during a sermon is a no-no. That’s why a typical church pager system uses a visual or vibrating signal. One choice is the LED display board. This is visible to all congregants and displays a numeric code when someone needs to go to the nursery. It’s intended to be discrete. Only the parent knows which number is assigned to his/her child, right? Unfortunately, this illusion of privacy is shattered as soon as the anonymous parent creeps red-faced from the pew to go take care of a problem.
Other churches choose traditional pagers. This investment requires a set of strict rules. One facility in Canada (2) requires parents to exchange the church pager for their child at the end of the service. What if they lose the device? They have to pay a whopping $100 replacement fee. With a recession going on, some parents may just say “Keep the kid instead!”
The most modern approach involves simply having parents set their cell phones to vibrate. Then, they can receive a text message page from an app on a control iPod or iPhone set up in the nursery. This method is popular with church finance committees since start up and maintenance costs are low.