By Mimi Bullock
Nursery ministry is so special. What a joy to minister to little ones the love and peace of God! One of the most important things we can hope for in a church nursery is a holy peace.
That doesn’t mean babies won’t cry and parents won’t agonize over leaving their babies behind, even for a few hours. However, you can offer a place of quiet and peace that both kids and adults will enjoy.
Create a peaceful nursery environment and watch your ministry grow.
- Start with cleanliness.
No matter what gadgets and personalities you gather for nursery ministry, if the facility isn’t clean, it won’t impress. Leave a clipboard or punchlist of cleaning activities in the nursery. Instruct workers to tend to the small details before and after ministry. Have a team do a deep cleaning, like wash the toys, once a week on a day when the ministry is closed.
- Pick the right people for nursery leadership.
Leaders need to exude peace and confidence. Nothing should be able to shake a nursery leader. The nursery isn’t the ministry for the high-strung or stressed-out personalities.
- Greet visitors with excellence.
Have music playing softly in the background. If you have play stations in your nursery, have the toys ready and in place. When the doors open, parents should see excellence. Showing up at the last minute or refusing to open the nursery at five minutes till the service won’t encourage a peaceful experience. Be prepared and on time.
- Make security an issue.
Use security tags, bracelets or stamps. Even if you don’t have a large ministry, raising security gives parents peace of mind. Don’t release children to anyone but the person who dropped them off. Have security cameras working and, if possible, a large window where parents can observe the children unseen.
- Tending to needs.
All children should have a diaper change at least once during their nursery stay. Put a happy face diaper sticker on diapers to let parents know they’ve been changed. Only ladies change diapers, not children or men. Have age-appropriate snacks ready and always verify food allergies with parents.
- Don’t forget the ministry.
Sing “Jesus Loves Me” every time the doors open. Break out the Noah’s ark puppets and play with children. They may not retain much, but they will know that you and God love them. That’s true ministry!
- Keep soothers on hand.
Don’t rely on just videos for entertainment. Keep a bubble blower in the room. Have a fish-filled aquarium or a light show on the ceiling. Kids love anything distracting and would make them feel calm.
Mimi Bullock writes for www.Ministry-to-Children.com, a resource started by Tony Kummer to solve children’s ministry problems.