This is the first blog post in a series about the ministry of the church nursery as one of the first touch points and spaces your church serves for your youngest members and guests. Our next blog post in this series will be published on August 13.
While the church nursery is one of the first ministry sites young families encounter when they visit your church, it’s likely not the first room on the list for renovations. Because it’s not the most public or frequently used space, the nursery is easy to push updates back, until you realize it’s been a decade since you last painted, or that all your board books look like they have been chewed on by hungry chipmunks. Whether it’s been two years or 20, now is a good time to evaluate your space; freshen up decor, toys, and resources; and give your nursery a makeover that ensures that parents and their little ones receive a warm, safe welcome each time they visit your church.
Step One: Evaluate
Asses your nursery space, décor, toys, and resources. Inventory what you have and what you need. What do you have that’s working but needs to be updated or cleaned? What older toys might no longer meet today’s safety guidelines? Be critical and thorough in your evaluation. You can always adjust later based on your church’s specific priorities and budget. Focus on creating a nursery space that’s not only safe, welcoming, and fun for kids, but that also helps little ones start to discover the wonder of God’s love.
Step Two: Initiate
Build your nursery makeover team. Whether your evaluation left you with a short or long list of updates to be made, you’ll want to get a team of people together to help make this makeover happen. There are lots of different people you might consider inviting to be part of your team, not only parents and church staff members – think of anyone looking to make a difference in your church. Send them an invitation or give them a call. Work with them to estimate the cost and time of each project, organize ideas, and create a short and long term proposal that can be presented to church leadership.
Step Three: Execute
Collect donations get your makeover started. Create a gift registry for the nursery for people who love to shop for babies and little ones! If additional funds are needed to get your makeover started, host a fundraiser or ask your church community to participate in funding this important part of your church’s ministry.
Then roll up your sleeves and get to work. Yes, this will require time, dedication, and hard work. Share your progress in your church’s newsletter, bulletin, and announcements. A high-quality nursery will have a positive impact on the whole church, not just the little ones who use it and their families.
Step Four: Celebrate
Say thanks to your makeover team personally and publically for their effort, and thank your church for their support. Invite everyone to a blessing ceremony. Ask a pastor to bless the nursery in worship as you embark on using this space to care for little bodies, minds, and spirits, and remind families that the nursery is for them and that they are welcome there.
The nursery isn’t always a priority when it comes to church-building needs, but you can help it be one by taking these steps to renovate this essential space for young families. Make sure your nursery communicates enthusiastic welcome, safety, and faith to each family who walks through your door. Your hard work will be worth it as you witness little ones learning and growing in faith and community in your reenergized and refreshed church nursery.
This blog is excerpted from "The Church Nursery Makeover”, just one of the articles in the Frolic Nursery Practices library available on Sparkhouse Digital – sign up for your FREE 30-day trial now to view! This content is also available in our Frolic Nursery Coordinator Guide.