“It’s the nursery. Just feed them, change them, and keep them out of their parents’ hair. That’s all there is to it. After all, they’re just babies.” This is how many people view their church’s nursery ministry. They see it as relatively unimportant and even as a nuisance. But nothing could be farther from the truth. The nursery is a vital ministry that should be one of a church’s top priorities. The children aren’t “just babies.” They are made in the image of God and have great potential to learn about God so that one day they might trust in Christ as their Savior. Nursery Bible curriculum (1) helps you make the most of a critical learning window, (2) provides an example for parents, and (3) helps the nursery staff focus on ministry.
Curriculum Makes the Most of a Critical Learning WindowThe children in your nursery ministry are at a key point in their lives. More brain development will occur in the first three years of their lives than will occur throughout the rest of their lives. Never again will their brains be so ready to learn and absorb knowledge. It would be a tragedy to waste these precious early years by simply passing time in the nursery. When babies and toddlers learn about God, Jesus, and the Bible, the Holy Spirit can use that foundation of truth in their minds to convict them of their sin and their need for a Savior when they are old enough to make such a decision. No baby or toddler is guaranteed to receive Christ if he is taught about spiritual things at an early age. But God’s Word is powerful, and introducing young children to God has the potential to influence those children for a lifetime. The baby and toddler activities in this curriculum help you engage the children by talking to them about spiritual truths such as God is the creator and Jesus loves you.
Using Curriculum Sets an Example for Parents“And these words, which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:6, 7). There is never a time when a child is not learning. God expects parents to take advantage of daily opportunities to teach their children about Him. This passage does not give any age limits. It doesn’t say, “When your children reach five years old, begin teaching them about Me.” The passage also doesn’t assign teaching to a certain time or day of the week. It doesn’t say, “Make sure your children receive a spiritual education by sending them to Sunday School each week.” No, it says God’s truth is to be taught at every age, all day long, in everything we say and do! Curriculum helps you incorporate God’s truth into a child’s daily activities and routines. As you use Lil’ Sprouts nursery curriculum, you are showing parents you take teaching their children spiritual truths seriously. That will encourage parents to take it seriously too. Parents who are nursery caregivers will see firsthand how Biblical truth is being taught and incorporated into their child’s time in the nursery. They will be encouraged to do the same at home.
Curriculum Helps Nursery Staff Focus on MinistryTalking with other believers is encouraged by God, but the goal of the church nursery should not be to give caregivers a chance to chat. Using curriculum helps caregivers stay focused on the importance and value of the nursery ministry. Curriculum gives everyone a common goal and sense of purpose. By following the monthly themes, telling the Bible accounts, and incorporating the activities, caregivers should see their time in the nursery as valuable ministry to children rather than a time for idle chitchat. Use this curriculum to its fullest and make your nursery ministry much more than babysitting! Alex Bauman is director of Regular Baptist Press.
- Parenting: Ready or Not! (Daria Greening and Andrea Gower.Regular Baptist Press, 104 Pages, Paper, $9.99) Here’s a book that offers verses of Scripture and practical advice to encourage parents. The devotionals are arranged according to parenting themes for easy reference. The Scriptures in these devotionals apply directly to parenting roles. You will discover parenting tips to assist you in working with your child. You won’t find sugarcoating on these parenting thoughts; they come from real-life situations! Pick this book up during a quiet moment while your baby is sleeping or during a stressful time when you are feeling overwhelmed. As you read, you will find Biblical support to help you parent your children.
- Lil’ Sprouts Teacher’s Guide (RBP1021): Order one guide for each nursery room. The teaching ideas for babies and toddlers are not reproducible.
- Lil’ Spouts Teaching Pictures (RBP1015): Order one set of teaching pictures for each nursery room to use with each month’s Bible Time.
- Lil’ Sprouts Music CD (RBP1024): Order one CD for each nursery room. Use the familiar children’s songs on the CD to reinforce basic concepts about God.
- Lil’ Sprouts Bib (RBP1014): Order one to give to each set of parents and one to keep handy in each nursery for those messy feeding times.
- Lil’ Sprouts Birthday Card and Envelope (RBP1018): Order to recognize the first and second birthdays of your lil’ ones.
- Lil’ Sprouts Name Tags (RBP1019): Order for caregivers to help parents identify who is taking care of their babies. Order them also for children to help caregivers minister to them more effectively. The name tags come in sheets of 8 with 10 sheets per package.
- Lil’ Sprouts Poster (RBP1016): Order to decorate, promote, and identify your nursery ministry. Comes in packages of 5.
- Lil’ Sprouts Bag Tags (RBP1020): Order to give to each family who has children in your nursery. The bag tags are a nice gift and help you keep your nursery organized.
- Lil’ Sprouts Iron-on (RBP1017): Order to decorate your nursery, decorate smocks, or make T-shirts for babies and toddlers. Comes in packages of 5 sheets.
- Lil’ Sprouts Kit (RBP 1012): Includes a Director’s Guide for setting up your nursery and one each of the products listed above.