Donna Perugini Children's Author

Church Volunteers for Children in Nursery and Upper Grades


GodChurch Volunteers in Children’s Ministry

If there were a service that hooks volunteers up with church volunteering needs, that service would be busy all the time and overtime! There is one posting on my blog that mentions volunteering for a church nursery and the the keywords that hunt it down through Google is, “getting volunteers for the church nursery“.  

The ‘Older Women Should Work in the Nursery Theory’

Some younger women feel the older women should take over this area and watch their children. I understand the feelings about being with your children all week and needing a break from them on Sundays at least. I was the mother of young ones also…once upon a time.  (I am living proof that mother’s do see all their children leave the nest just in case you doubted that for yourself). 

Checking Out the New Church

I remember going to a new church to see if we belonged there. Our little guy was 2-3 years old. We were shown the nursery which was a tiny, tiny broomcloset room with mattresses covering the floor. The nursery worker was overwhelmed with children and looked at me desperately saying these words, “We expect everyone to volunteer for this position of working in the nursery.” 

Okay, so I wasn’t being spiritual when I determined to never come back. Little did I know I’d be a Children’s Ministry Director and lead worker in grades 6-11 one day….lasting for over 20 years! 

Converted to Teaching the Children of All Ages

Curious about my conversion to having a working children’s ministry? I was picked because our church needed someone…as simple as that. From there I developed a program to reach the huge grade span of 6-11 and implemented it. The nursery was covering ages birth to 5 and if someone did not show up to serve, if I was not in with ages 6-11, I was in that nursery.

Burn Out? Relief?

Did I burn out? Did anyone come in to relieve me? Was I feeling stuck with children forever?  All these questions and more will be answered in my next posting on this blog. Want to come along and gain insights?  The best way is to Subscribe by Email on my blog.  Then you’ll receive updates outside of regular postings too.

What do you think about volunteering in a church nursery?  Love to know what you think…please comment so I can respond!

12 Responses to “Church Volunteers for Children in Nursery and Upper Grades”

  1. 1

    I have mixed feelings regarding working in the children’s ministry.
    I would like to help IF there wasn’t some sort of unspoken pecking order where you get to love on and nurture, rather than be on potty duty exclusively.
    I know that is part of it, I am a Mom of 2, but I do feel there is some unfairness involved. I had a friend explain to me that if I volunteered, I’d be changing diapers & taking toddlers to the potty only, for at least a year, just like her! Yikes!

    If the ” head” volunteers are tired, which I am sure they are, they should learn how to delegate with compassion and treat all volunteers with kindness.
    I would love to read your insights on this subject!
    Linda Kinsman recently posted..Do you Polyvore?My Profile

    • 1.1

      I suspect the ‘pecking order’ was someones idea of being fair and ‘spreading the love’. I can’t even imagine being ‘the one’ who takes every child to the potty and changes every diaper in the room. If a child has a poopy diaper, I believe the mother should be called in to change the diaper.

      I know you don’t want to open a ‘can of worms’, but have you personally spoken to the nursery leader or the children’s ministry director? If they’re already loaded with people to do specific jobs, can you suggest a job you would do? Would they be glad to get someone who is on standby once a month to take another person’s place if the volunteer is absent?

      If a leader/director sees something is not working in their department, they should be open to change. Sometimes they don’t ‘see’ what’s wrong and sometimes they don’t want to change ‘what’s (they feel is) not broken’.

      I suggest you pray to understand how to approach the leader and that you can stay open on your end. Actually, I applaud you, Linda. You don’t have any nursery age children and are wanting and willing to help in the nursery! A smart leader will see your heart and use you wisely.

      Let me know if you talk with the leader. I’d love to see how this all turns out for you.
      DonnaPerugini recently posted..Church Volunteers for Children in Nursery and Upper GradesMy Profile

      • 1.1.1

        Hi Donna,

        I was shaking my head in agreement with your response.
        I do believe that the leaders at our church do not see anything wrong with the current way things are being done. Not just in Children’s Ministry, but at this point, it is the most important to us because our kids aren’t happy in their services.
        Our church has become quite popular, almost star-studded in fact, so we really don’t see things changing.
        We are praying to be led to a new family church, one in which we can grow and lead our kids in the ways we are meant to as Christians.
        I very much appreciate your wise words on this subject!
        Linda Kinsman recently posted..Do you Polyvore?My Profile


          You’ll find a church where you fit…just keep praying and being led by that ‘peace on the inside’. I know it gets discouraging at first, but what a joy when find where you should grow!

  2. 2
    Becky says:

    Interesting that you mention the idea of the “older women” working in the nursery. We currently have just one volunteer in our children’s ministry who doesn’t have her own children in the children’s ministry. (Though, I think she’s been serving in the same capacity for a million and one years, ha ha. Since her kids are teenagers, I’m sure she was working in there when they were little too). One of our volunteers is not only a new mom (with a 1 year old) but she’s also our church’s preschool director. Talk about needing a break! It might be nice to have some of the other ladies step up, but at the same time, I realized they’ve probably served in that way at *some* point plus raised their own little ones. Some of them just don’t have the energy/patience any more to be around a lot of little ones at one time. In fact, some young moms don’t have a lot of patience with a whole class of “other people’s kids”. I can see both perspectives. Sometimes it seems like an older woman/mom might be able to breathe fresh life into a “stagnant” children’s ministry. At any rate, I feel it’s important for volunteers to be willing to serve, or else they’re setting everyone up for frustration. 🙂
    Becky recently posted..The Easiest Way to Make RiceMy Profile

    • 2.1

      Excellent observation, Becky! Some people will be frustrated anyway because of lack of ability to say no or say what they need.

      My thought is use the older women to do jobs that bleed time out of a leader’s day. Being specific helps when asking, but an older woman can make sure the room is stocked with necessities, shop for the teacher, put together the craft, run copies of the lesson, ask other women that are older to help with her, come to visit the room as ‘Grandma’, help with a craft in preschool room,come in to read the story…maybe with a hand puppet,playing an instrument,etc. Then once they volunteer, it’s important not to take advantage by assigning them more to do than what they signed up for.

      Exciting times, eh, Becky?! :O)
      DonnaPerugini recently posted..Church Volunteers for Children in Nursery and Upper GradesMy Profile

  3. 3
    Bianca says:

    It is my honor to be part of this event.. I love helping others.. especially for the church.. Thanks for sharing this blog..
    Bianca recently posted..b & b PaigntonMy Profile

  4. 4

    I was the children’s director of elementary children at my church and this was always such an issue. I did it for 5 years and believe it or not I loved it! But as someone older now I tend to not volunteer so much not like I used too. My church was bought out by a mega church and we were all released. It’s taken us a while to find a new church. But we have now and I can see myself one day going back on the rotation. But it will be when I’m ready. As we get older I think the “I’ve already had more than my share of turns” kicks in! lol
    Dina Demarest recently posted..Weekend Giveaway LinkUpMy Profile

    • 4.1

      When your children are the age that you teach in a children’s ministry, it’s very helpful. You’re in tune to the latest things going on in their environment and can relate to the kids better. Some of my best ideas came when teaching the 6-11 year olds. That’s how my children’s books were created…to teach the kids about a relationship with God in a way they could comprehend.

      I’m bothered by the statement that a mega church came in and bought out your church, then released everyone. I was unaware of this type of action going on in the churches today. I know that can leave a lot of hurt and am glad you found another church where you fit again.

      Our volunteer positions change with age and physical stamina. I was in children’s ministry over 30 years…various churches (due to husband’s job moving us around). Now I’m teaching the ladies bible study and the teen girls (granddaughter’s in it). I love teaching, so don’t know if I’ll ever back off of that.

  5. 5
    Erica says:

    Really found this post interesting! I’ll be pinning this on pinterest!
    Erica recently posted..How to be ordinaryMy Profile

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