You must have clearly written church nursery manual regardless of your church’s size. In this article, I want to offer some tips and point you to other resources that can help you develop your own church nursery guidelines.
Ideas For Church Nursery Manual
Know your church culture. Many smaller churches will express skepticism or distrust to a written church nursery manual of policies and guidelines. This is normal and should not surprise or offend you. Small congregations typically have a much higher natural trust level among the membership because nearly everyone is related or long time members. But don’t use this as an excuse not to create guidelines for your church nursery.
Even little churches should have clearly written expectations. You will have to accommodate this attitude by writing a smaller manual. Even so, it is important to get something in writing that you can build on later. If your church nursery manual is not consistent with the culture of your church, your volunteers will ignore or resent your efforts.
If you are in a small church, do not copy and paste from a mega church nursery manual. For my church, we have a one-page set of guidelines that we post in every nursery or early childhood ministry room. I would like to expand this later. But for now, we cover the basics and try to model the more advanced items.
Balance trust and accountability. Writing down your expectations can change the dynamic of your church nursery. It can also damage relationships if not handled correctly. You must find ways to affirm your existing volunteers and assure them that you do trust them to provide care for the nursery.
At the same time the church nursery manual initiates a system of accountability and may offend a small number of workers. It is essential that you meet with nursery volunteers in small groups or individually to explain the new guidelines and assure them that “no one is in trouble.”
Some Resources For Writing A Church Nursery Manual
- Download my one-page Church Nursery Volunteer Worker Guidelines (job description)
- Encourage your nursery volunteers with my article titles God Is In The Church Nursery
- Excerpts From Another Church Nursery Manual (PDF)