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When a mom or dad enters your nursery with their child for the ﬁrst time or the 100th time, they need to feel the child is “safe.” When we care for kids in our nursery, I remind our nursery team that we are providing care for both the baby and the parents. If mom and dad feel their baby is safe, the baby will do much better in your environment. This article demonstrates some safe practices for the church nursery.
While nursery has its challenges, it is the most important ministry within your church. As children's leaders, it is easy to neglect the nursery ministry, because the children are infants and tend to have a very short attention span. However, these early years of our children's lives are the most formative years, where we can be building a strong foundation of faith. Here are a few tips on how to create a nursery environment that will build a foundation of faith for a lifetime.
In order to learn in the unique way that God created them, children in the first three years of life have to feel safe in your care—which means we have to create spaces for them that enhance learning by helping them feel secure. Oftentimes we focus on the layout and design of the room to encourage learning. While these are important elements of learning, helping children feel safe is more about our response to them than room design. Following the principles of “consistency, predictability, and sensitivity” in our ministry help create environments that encourage children to learn.
As a children’s pastor, one of the most important areas in our ministries, I believe, is the nursery. First-time parents and guests need to feel that their baby is being taken care of and is safe and loved in order for them to feel comfortable dropping off their precious little one. When they know that those three things are happening, then they can actually fully attend the adult service and hear the message.
Due to the very nature of its purpose, a nursery can be a raucous place! The crash of toys, little babbling voices, and, yes, perhaps even crying, can be heard at various times—or all at the same time. How can you and your nursery staff instill confidence in your church families and visitors so they feel leaving their precious little ones in your care is a good idea?
I had been a successful children’s pastor for about eight years. Both churches that I worked in during that time had grown significantly, especially in the children’s areas. I had learned a lot, and at my young age I may have even felt I knew it all. I have since learned there is ALWAYS more to learn in children’s ministries. I was making my rounds and stopped by the nursery ...