Aug 28, 2015

Nursery Volunteers...Don't Underestimate the Big Impact You Make

Many people who volunteer in the nursery feel like they are simply providing "childcare." 

In preschool and elementary ministry, it's easy to see the impact you're making.  You see kids learning verses, grasping what you're sharing, making a decision to follow Jesus, praying, worshipping and other indicators of spiritual impact.

But you can't see the impact as well when you're serving babies in the nursery.  They can't talk, pray, tell you what they learned or quote Bible verses you've taught them.  So can you know you're making an impact on the child?

Yes.  Be assured.  You are making a huge impact in the life of the baby you hold on weekends.  Recent studies show that when babies receive support, they end up much better-off as adults.  The brain doesn't forget these early interactions.  The way people interact with a baby affects the child for life. 

Babies who don't receive positive interaction have worse functioning, attention, processing, language, memory and social skills when they are older.  The first few years of a child's life are critical periods because the brain is rapidly changing.  Studies show that early input has a material effect on brain outcomes. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics just announced that children should be read to from birth.  This is because reading to a baby has been proven to translate into better test scores when the child is older.

Bottom line...if you volunteer in the nursery, God has placed you there for one of the most critical times in a child's life.  What you do makes a huge impact.  You are not volunteering in "childcare."  You are laying the foundation for children's spiritual journey.

Some of the ways you can spiritually impact babies in the nursery are...

Read God's Word to them.  Take time each week to read a Scripture passage to them.  When you do this, you are embedding God's Word into their hearts.

Speak positive words to them.  There is so much power in your words.  Speak words of life and hope to the child.

Play Christian music for them.
  
Smile at them.  Studies show that smiling at a baby makes a lifelong impact on the child.  Your smile makes the difference.

Your nursery volunteers may be underestimating the importance of what they're doing.  Encourage them with these words.  Their ministry is critical.

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