If you are a typical youth worker you are dealing with frustrations with upset and even angry church members, and unsupportive staff! "Why did the youth mess up the kitchen?" "Why did the youth make so much noise in the parking lot?" "Why don't the youth ever do anything for us in the church?" And so forth…
Do you need an event that builds positive relations with your church folks? Do you need to get in good graces with the Pastor and Elders? Do you need to have a fundraiser yet are tired of bake sales and dog washes? Do you desire to involve your youth in the life of the church, but are having trouble doing so? Well I have the greatest youth and church relations builder since potlucks and free pizza!!!
The program is simple! The youth set up a free baby-sitting service for parents in the church during the week, such as Thursday evenings during school, or in the morning in summer time. This can turn into a community service by inviting the community, when you have adequate staff and resources. You do not need to charge for your service, it should be your gift to the church. Parents need a break; most work and then the frustrations of child rearing can be overwhelming. A welcomed safe break is a real blessing! And you can be that blessing.
What you do is train your youth to baby-sit (Do not assume they know!!), guidelines below. Make sure you have at least one adult there at all times. You can make this a weekly event. When you get the hang of it, start inviting the community. You will be amazed on what a tremendous outreach tool this is. I have been doing this for 15 years and I do not charge $$; however people donate anyway, and I receive $$ from others who are not parents in the church and community too. As you get established you can look into having business sponsor your program, and Federal money can be applied for too, check it out through "Focus on the Family". And when it is budget time the elders are very generous, because the youth have earned it. And this builds respect for you and the program.
A program that is relation building with the church and community, keeps the youth busy and trains them with responsibility, that is an evangelistic tool and you can earn money doing so, what else could you want? A win win scenario!!!
It is our Call and duty to provide an encouraging, loving and safe environment for our Lords children.
The main purpose of this program is to provide a service for families of young children so they can spend quality time together away form the normal hectic schedules of life and so they can work on their relationship while their children can have a little fun too.
§ This program will be on __________between__________ (such as Thursdays between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.)
§ The parents need to RSVP ahead of time.
§ The youth will sign up and be trained to be the principle caregivers of this program.
§ An adult chaperone will be present in accordance with state and insurance guidelines; however, they are there to supervise. The youth are responsible to run the program.
§ At least one person will be there at all times who is First Aid and CPR trained by the Red Cross.
§ The children should be signed in on a list with the parent's and child's name, time dropped off and picked up, and emergency phone number.
§ The children will be kept track of at all times. If necessary, a nametag will be placed on the child if more than four (4) children are present. It is always a good idea to give back to the parents the same children and number that they checked in with!
§ The play area, "nursery" and adjoining classroom will be kept clean and free of anything hazardous, especially small objects that can be inserted into mouths.
§ The workers must be courteous, encouraging, and loving at all times. This is imperative. We are to reflect the love we receive from Christ's grace to those around us.
§ For any emergencies where the health of a child is in danger, dial 911 immediately.
§ The lead youth worker shall take the responsibility to get the key from the office that day or the day before and is responsible for bringing the key back to the office.
§ The youth workers will keep track of their hours on appropriate time cards, which will go toward their scholarship and camp funds.
§ The phone is for emergencies and parent contact only and not a social device for the workers.
§ The workers may not have their friends over unless they are working and approved by an adult. We are there to minister to the children, not our friends.
§ Young children who are not potty-trained may need to have their diapers changed. Please check with the parents on the procedures and materials needed.
§ It is imperative that the children are directly supervised at all times. It only takes a second for something to go wrong. That is why your eyes must be on the children.
Blessings as you serve the Lord's children!
(c) 1981, 1994 R. J. Krejcir www.intothyword.com