When it comes to offering childcare for your women’s events, the question becomes more about which events may qualify. In my six years of leading women’s ministry in my medium-sized church, childcare was always a quandary.
We definitely believed that it should be offered for almost every event, but the problem was that few wanted to do it. Even those who insisted we must so “Sister So-and-so” could come were not even so inclined themselves to offer to baby-sit.
Of course, no church wants to say that they “baby-sit” kids because truly we prefer to share Jesus with the children during that time – two very different concepts with two different approaches required. Ministry requires thought, prayer, planning, resources, and excellence in execution. The challenge with setting up proper childcare for church events is that the women’s ministry team is not only planning and praying over one event, but now two. Setting up childcare can be exhausting and frustrating, unfortunately; yet it is vitally important. Thom Ranier cited the lack of quality childcare to be one of the top six reasons women are opting out of church. Yikes!
So, what’s a women’s ministry to do?
First off, if you do not have the resources or manpower to offer childcare, the answer becomes easy – don’t offer it. It is what it is.
But, before you have to default to not offering it, here are some ideas…
- Pay your typical church childcare attendees, Mom’s Day Out workers, etc. to keep the kids during the event. After all, they will have had their background checks done, be familiar with resources available in the church, and have a heart for children’s ministry. It’s a win-win!
- Draft your own kids. This one is not my favorite, but I did use it when in a bind once. My daughter was in high school, so she and another church friend helped me care for the children during our two-hour event. They already had their background checks completed since they had previously worked VBS. Thanks to good volunteers in our women’s ministry, I was able to orchestrate from the children’s area.
- Use the Youth. Your Youth Leader will be able to recommend some good candidates from the Youth program. It will be important to still have one adult with them.
- Act as a concierge. Some ladies may be willing to offer childcare in their homes for free. With their permission, provide the appropriate women with their contact information. My kids have had some of their best times in the homes of church friends.
- Help them problem-solve. Reach out to your moms and tell them how much you hope to see them at the event. If they are in need of childcare, you can help them think of someone they may know and trust to help them, like relatives, trusted neighbors and co-workers.
Gina Duke is the award-winning author of Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray (Abingdon Press), that introduces the gift of structured prayer journaling. You can enjoy her weekly #ShePrayerJournals weekend workshops on YouTube, and follower her on Twitter and Instagram at @TheGinaDuke.
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