Caring for Our Youngest Family Members
Ever wondered what goes on in the nursery? Cheong Ai Tho shares more about this ministry with us in words and photos, and talks about the joys and challenges of serving in the nursery, and how the church may pray for the ministry.
1. What does the ministry do?
The nursery welcomes early-age children to Grace Baptist Church (GBC). It is the goal of our nursery helpers to provide a safe, comfortable and nurturing environment for children, so that parents can worship God and attend the service without feeling insecure or worried about the well-being of their children.
The nursery is available for infants to those up to three years of age, during our Sunday morning service.
2. Who are currently serving in this ministry?
Currently, we are very blessed to have volunteers from various age groups: uncles and aunties, including singles who serve joyfully to ensure the children are cared for during service. All nursery helpers are experienced, familiar with the nursery facilities, and aware of their duties and responsibilities while attending to the children. They also strive to make each child’s earliest church encounters a loving and nurturing experience.
The ministry comprises two major areas:
- Physical, i.e. meeting basic needs of the children, such as keeping them clean, comfortable and occupied in play, singing Christian songs, letting them rest if needed, and feeding them if instructed by the parents; and
- Spiritual, i.e. teaching the older children. A pair of assigned teachers prepare and deliver a structured Bible study programme, which consists of reading a short scripture or verse from the Bible, learning a Bible story and making craft, to help the children understand and apply the message.
3. What are the joys and challenges in serving in this ministry?
Serving in the nursery may not be everyone’s cup of tea but for those who love spending time with children, our volunteers can assure you that the joy of seeing each child grow and mature in different ways is indeed very rewarding and satisfying. This is especially when the children look forward to coming every Sunday to not only meet their ‘little’ friends but also their uncles and aunties! We have witnessed many children who had struggled and resisted coming to the nursery, but later running in and simply saying “bye” to their parents; so be encouraged – the children will adapt and learn that there is a time and place for everything.
The challenge is not knowing how many children will attend each Sunday and hence, the efficient allocation of volunteers on some Sundays, but so far we have been able to manage as the pair of Sunday School teachers will always come in earlier to help, so we are very thankful for this.
4. How can we pray for the ministry?
- The children to grow in the knowledge and fear of the Lord as the helpers model Christlikeness in their service;
- More helpers, and all helpers to be faithful in our service and joyful in our ministry; and
- New parents to entrust their children to the nursery and God’s provision of this ministry.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”
P.S. What exactly do the children do in the nursery?
And of course you can’t expect them to follow the schedule in such an orderly manner, so at times, they are all over the place but always well taken care of!