Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nursery & Preschool

Do you have a young child who has a hard time being dropped off in our nursery or preschool during one of our weekend services? With about 800 children that participate in our weekend programming, we know that children are unique in their talents, temperaments, and personalities. However, there are a few things that you can do to help your young child transition well into his or her "small group" time:
  1. Arrive early. When we're rushing around to get to the worship service, our children feel the tension and anxiety. Try to arrive at your child's class 5-10 minutes before the service; this means you should probably arrive on the campus at least 15 minutes before the service. This will allow you plenty of time to check your child in, and you will have time to catch your breath before you worship.
  2. Stay in the hall. We prefer that parents not enter the classroom when other children and volunteers are already present. We've seen that it's best to make the separation between parent and child as quick as possible; entering the room with your child tends to drag out this process. Furthermore, too many people in the room can create an unsafe environment.
  3. Talk to the small group leaders. Let the volunteer know of any information that might help them shepherd your child, including how long you would like them to try to comfort your child before we page you from the worship service. Our awesome volunteers will do all they can to minister to your child, so that you can be free to worship and serve during our weekend services.
  4. Talk to your child. All during the week, talk positively with your children about going to their small group. Encourage them to do a little better each week. Remind them that you love them, and that you trust their small group leaders to take care of them while you are being taught God's word.
  5. Be consistent. We've seen the value of a child having consistent leaders, and we try (as much as possible) to have regular volunteers in each ministry area. On your part, try to attend the same service each week, so that the leaders can get to know your child better.
We know that many of you have (or have had) children that cry week after week. We want to encourage you to be faithful and consistent. Give us the opportunity to love on and shepherd you children, so that you can freely worship and serve on Saturday nights or Sunday mornings. Often, it takes weeks or months to ease your and your child's anxieties, but it will happen.

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