When God called me to serve in children’s ministry I never imagined some of the situations I would face. Over the years I’ve learned that kids bring a lot of baggage with them to church. The biggest danger for sexual abuse on church property is often one child molesting another. The danger for cruelty and emotional abuse is often a group of children bullying one of their own. We have not faced those issues, but we try to protect the children in our church. If your church is committed to reaching the un-reached you can be sure they will bring their mess with them.
Here is a list of volunteer expectations that I have been using for our church nursery. We don’t have a formal church nursery worker manual, but these guidelines have several ideas for safety that move in the right direction. I do not use the term ‘job description’ in the document. We want our people to think of their work in the church nursery as a ministry or service to the Lord. Feel free to use these in your church or leave a comment to help me revise them in the future. You can download this as a word document: Church Nursery Worker Guidelines
When I first introduced these, I called a meeting for all church nursery workers. It was a process of re-teaching what many of our best volunteers already knew. Do these guidelines solve all our issues? No, but they set clear expectations and help the church nursery minister more effectively.
How much are your Children’s Ministry volunteers worth?
Of course, they are beyond value. But, what if you could calculate the weekly budget needed to hire replacements? Here is a group exercise I developed for a College level Children’s Ministry class. I was the guest teacher on the topic of volunteers. I wanted to communicate to the students (current and future Children’s ministers) how essential volunteers are to every ministry. It was a training session designed to inform and motivate the learners. The students all seemed to get my point – volunteers are the ministry.
This could be a great tool to get a handle on how much responsibility you have when working with volunteers. You could use it to show the finance people that most of your resources are people – so a few hundred more dollars is a small request!
The average children’s Bible has about 100 stories. The real Bible has many more. Every story matters. But what are the basic stories kids need to understand to have a full grasp on the Bible? What stories are so basic to the Gospel that omitting them would leave a big whole in their worldview? Here’s what I came up with.
13 Bible Stories You Must Teach Every Child
- God created the world and everything in contains (including people) for his glory. (Genesis 1-2)
- Our first parents, Adam and Eve, rejected God’s rule and fell into a state of sin and misery. (Genesis 3-4)
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