I’ve seen the real horror of Early Childhood and Nursery ministry. It’s NOT the one person in a room of 20 kids under 18 months old all by themselves. It’s NOT the parent that insist that we not call her out of service when her kid throws chairs across the classroom. It’s NOT even the kid that comes to church and prays for Jesus to protect them from the crocodiles (whatever that means…)
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen happen, that you can laugh about now?
I’ve found that the real Horror Story happens when classroom leaders fail to teach up or down to the level of learning of their kids. It’s a horrible tragedy when leaders of 4 year olds treat their class like 14 year olds and grow exasperated when they won’t sit down for her lecture. It’s a tragedy when the 2 year old leader doesn’t take the time to illustrate biblical truths to her kids in an environment ripe for learning.
I’ve just about seen it all, but these above scenarios are what keep me up at night. When these things happen the kids don’t absorb the truth of God’s Word like they are created to, and those leaders grow frustrated and anxious about the job they are failing at. It’s time that us in the leadership of our churches begin to train, teach and lead in a way that sets everyone up for success.
1. First, we’ve got to set realistic expectations. Don’t every place a leader in a room with an age of kids, without first explaining what that age of kid can and cannot do. Not doing this is like throwing someone the keys to your stick shift car and expecting them to know how to drive without having every driven a stick shirt before.
2. Second, you’ve got to give your leaders the information. Tell them what’s the what about the age of kids they have.
3. Third, and finally; you’ve got to define the win for your Early Childhood leaders. There may be no easier win in your entire Children’s Ministry, but also be the hardest to define. Tell your leaders how they know they’ve done the 4 year old class right.