Posts tagged ‘ministry’

10 Reasons Why Involvement in Your Church Nursery is Important

Volunteering in the nursery is more than changing diapers, rocking babies and helping the under 2 ½ year old’s play nicely together. It is a very important ministry to the child, parent(s), and even to yourself. Below are 10 reasons why your involvement is needed, useful, and important.

  1. Following orders. The Bible (Romans 12: 3-9, 1 Cor. 12: 1-31 & 1 Peter 4: 10-11)  tells Believers to use their spiritual gifts for the good of the church, to serve one another in love. When you are in the nursery, you are obeying one of God’s reasons for gifting Believers. Your obedience pleases God and blesses the church.
  2. Full attention. Once babies reach a certain age, they get wiggly and noisy. These actions while normally welcomed can cause a parent to be distracted and uncomfortable in a church setting. Having the child in the nursery allows parents to participate in church without distraction.
  3. Great impressions. Infants and children under 2 ½ years old are forming their first impressions about church, God, and people. Many of these impressions stay with them for their whole lives. You have the opportunity to make healthy impressions.
  4. Keep schedule. In the nursery it is easier to follow his/her schedule regarding bottle-feeding and napping. Since we have a separate crib room, the child can lay down in comfort and quiet when it is time for a nap. And when awake and mobile, there is plenty of room, toys, and attention to keep the child engaged and content.
  5. Pastor pastors. Since the parents are in the service and/or small group, the pastor and teachers are able to fulfill their ministry to the parents by teaching, preaching, exhortation, mercy, encouragement, etc. Thus the parents are able to grow in maturity, receive love, and be equipped for service in their home and church.
  6. Prayer ministry. Prayer can take place anywhere: when rocking a fussy or sleepy child, just before you separate the two tykes fighting over the train, as you change the diaper, or even as you briefly hug the little one who tripped over the crumb on the carpet. You have many little opportunities to pray for the baby and his/her family.
  7. Realistic expectations. The more hours you put into the nursery, the more you come to understand that age group. You learn what the normal range of behaviors are. This knowledge helps you relax your expectations for all children in general and for your own in particular. An added bonus is you are a good resource for the parents regarding appropriate behaviour.
  8. Relationship building. In the nursery you have the opportunity to build up relationships with the children, the parents, and with the other nursery workers. Doing so gives you a sense of belonging, of affirmation, of team work, and of being needed. You find that even though you are in a ministry and are giving to others, you are also receiving much in return.
  9. Spiritual influence. The older ones in the nursery follow a simple schedule which includes a Bible story, music, scripture, and prayer. This schedule exposes the children to core Biblical themes like God loves them and they can trust God. This first influence can also stay with the child for their lifetime.
  10. Stay or go? The nursery is the first point-of-contact for many families. How the parents and baby are treated will determine if the family stays in the church. Your commitment to being . . . on time … attentive to baby … friendly to the parent … and to the previous ten points makes a difference in the now and for eternity. I hope you can see how valuable your time in the nursery is. Thank you for your commitment and service.

Your Turn . . .

  • Have you ever worked in the church nursery? Do you agree or disagree with the above list? What would you add?
  • Are you a parent with a child in the nursery? What is your opinion on the above list?

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11 Ways to Use Facebook in Your Ministry

“Social media essentially is a category of online media where people are talking, participating, sharing, networking, and bookmarking online” (Ron Jones).

Like it or not social media is here to stay. It’s how a huge number of people connect for pleasure, business, education, and information.

The information for this post was researched and blogged September 7, 2010.

  • 1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media. (Technology and Community)
  • In the near future we will no longer search for products and services they will find us via social media. (Technology and Community)
  • 1 in 6 higher education students are enrolled in online curriculum. (Technology and Community)
  • Digg and Newsvine (2 social news sites) allow readers to not only read but also comment on the articles.

“Social networking now accounts for 11 percent of all time spent online in the US.”  175 million people log in to Facebook each day. And that number is growing exponentially. In fact 96% of GenY’s have joined a social network.” (Technology and Community)

And it’s not just the youth who are online. 1/3rd of Facebook users are in the 35-54 age range.

As you can see, Facebook is one handy tool to have in your ministry toolbox. Below are 11 ways you can use Facebook to connect with and impact people in your ministry.

1. Accountability. Use Facebook to stay on target with goals. When feeling a little shaky ask for prayer and ideas on how to keep motivated. Other’s insights can be helpful in staying the course.

2. Advertising. It is easy to send an event reminder or advertise about an upcoming event on Facebook. Your alert won’t become one of many messages in a crowded email inbox. Plus you can easily include pictures and links without affecting loading time.

3. Closes the Gap. Facebook allows you to converse with friends of friends, thus possibly widening your sphere of influence. On Facebook age is not immediately apparent, an issue, or a liability. In a face-to-face conversation people from different decades might not converse well or easily. But on Facebook it’s ok to be friends with those that are younger and older.

4. Connect. You can get to know others by reading their status updates, checking out their photos, and reading their comments to others. You get to know them on their turf.

5. Equal Opportunity. Facebook allows all sorts of people in all sorts of situations to connect. There is equal opportunity connection for the very shy … slow thinkers (like me) … chronically ill … very talkative … and … service members. You can participate on Facebook if you … live in a different city/country than your friends/family …. work a lot or have opposite shifts from others … and/or have a disability that makes it difficult to communicate easily face-to-face.

6. Information. Share links for useful resources as they relate to your ministry. You Tube, websites, blogs, and news articles are a few examples.

7. Respond. Share an answer in response to someone’s Status Update. I.e. Give tips on potty-training or training for a bike ride across the USA. Advise us where to stay in Monterrey or Saigon. Please tell AC what to do with squash paste!

8. Share Yourself. Facebook is an ideal place to share who you are via photos, links, your blog/website, commentary, and your thoughts whether they are silly or serious. Sharing your likes and dislikes helps others know you as a real person. You become accessible.

9. Small Groups. Extend your learning time outside of small groups. Discuss homework answers. Give explanations on topics you didn’t have time for in class. Use Facebook to go deeper into topics or people’s beliefs/ideas/questions. Explore tangents. Use Facebook in creative ways like Facebook as if you are a character from the study.

10. Thanks or Birthday Greetings. The snail mail thank you or birthday card is nice to get, but many don’t ever send one. With Facebook it is easy, fast and free to send birthday, thanks and other greetings to others in a timely manner! There is no excuse to not encourage teachers, students, and pastors with a Facebook message … Thanks for your helpI appreciate a job well done … or … Your insightful teaching gave me much to think about. Let people know you care about them.

11. Tip Exchange. You don’t have to write a paper or even fret over grammar to share your tips with others. You know something? Then tell us. I.e. How to keep a devotional time fresh. 5 ways to Get to Church On Time and Sane. Put this information in the notes section for easier reading.

These are some ways to use Facebook to communicate with others. This sharing of ourselves through ideas, feelings, resources and encouragement leads to better relationships. As we improve and grow our relationships with one another, our ministry also grows and improves.

Your Turn

  • How have you used Facebook in your ministry? Did it work out well or was it a flop?
  • What idea(s) would you add to this list?
  • How are you going to use Facebook this week in your ministry?

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