Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Beat Goes On

What a weird wacked out week of Ministry Minutia (I am too tired to look that spelling up).

I feel like it has been the middle of the week

That call last night that TDH took? One hour later I gave up and went to bed. Boiled down the issue is this: we say we want to grow, but as our nursery and children's church strains under the pressure of growth the powers that be refuse to open their minds to the idea of a paid nursery attendant. In the meantime the nursery is chaos... and last Sunday the perfect storm of three hyper (undisciplined) boys, an extra long service and our weakest (and most sensitive) leader combined to create chaos. We are lucky no child was seriously injured.

Bottom line for me is that we will most likely either lose our #2 giving family or our #4 giving family having just lost our #1 a year ago. I hate to think of things like that, but when you are $20,000 short on the giving side of the budget with only a month and a half to make it up these things tend to weigh on your mind.

No wonder Jesus just kept on moving - preaching, healing, helping, teaching - and left the church leadership to those who followed. Of course, he also got whipped, scourged and nailed to a cross.

I will become an electrician well before that happens.


see-through faith said...

I hear you and (((hug you))) too

Songbird said...

will smama, I find this really hard to understand. How can people be so short-sighted? Adding a babysitter to the budget is a relatively small item, but provides the consistency that makes families feel welcome. (Not that you don't already know this.)
Would your #2 giving family care enough about this to offer to underwrite it for a trial period?

will smama said...

You both are so sweet.

I did not include all the details in the post because I didn't want it to get too long but the reality is that at $10 an hour for 3 hours p/Sunday morning we are looking at less than $1600 and that has been offered.

It is not that they can't do it, it is that they won't. It is not even an old vs. young divide, it is more a blue vs. white collar divide for I have younger folks on my board who are against it as well.

They cannot understand that
a) Kids have behavior issues that volunteers just can't handle on a consistent basis. This is not your brother's kid who just has a short attention span and needs a friendly rap on the head.

b) A lot of Moms don't WANT to volunteer a quarter of their Sundays to watching other people's children. They will either not come or go somewhere else that does offer at least one paid nursery attendant so that the burden is not so heavy on the volunteers.

Preaching to the choir, I know... but it just makes me so sad because as much as I realize this is not my church and all I can do is guide; stuff like this makes me think I cannot wait them out as they consistently drag 10 - 50 years behind reality.

Quotidian Grace said...

You are SO right about this. A welcoming safe professional nursery enviornment helps bring back new families. Change is scary, too. Maybe those who are opposed to this really aren't ready for change.

How frustrating for you and the others who support this!

Preacher Mom said...

My children are the only children in my church. Some of the church members treated having to set up a nursery schedule as a real hardship. There was COMPLETE resistance to hiring a nursery worker, yet there were so few people in my elderly congregation who were physically capable of doing the job. Either the same two women gave up half of their Sundays of worship or our choir of five lost a member on a regular basis.

One Sunday I sat in the nursery with my children waiting for the nursery volunteer to show up. No one did. Finally with about five minutes left before worship, the elder whose duty it was to manage nursery schedule came to the door demanding to know why I wasn't where I was supposed to be. I smiled and said, "Since there is no one to keep the nursery today, I thought I would volunteer. Why don't you preach today?"

A volunteer showed up in about 90 seconds. And a committee was formed that week to find a paid nursery worker.

And it still pisses me off to think about it.

will smama said...

Oh my goodness - Preacher Mom, wow.

It is a major topic at next Session meeting (Monday) - once again - thanks to last Sunday's debacle and I think my strategy is to listen, listen, listen about ALL that has gone on the last few weeks and all of the suggestions and key in on the one word that I know the majority of them will say: 'consistency'.

And if we are honest with ourselves we will recognize that you cannot have consistency for a program that is as big as its gotten relying solely on volunteers.

I will also lift it up as this is a problem we WANT to have. We are a congregation of 150 with over 20 kids 5 and under. Despite the growing pains, that is really only a positive.

reverendmother said...

Go Preacher Mom!

Can you play the risk/safety card? Not that things can't happen with a paid person, but one major injury on an overwhelmed volunteer's watch and you've got yourself in a really bad sitch.

I agree with everything else that's been said of course.

Purechristianithink said...

Yes, absolutely play the liability card if need be. If folks still want there to be a volunteer component, then have a paid nursery workers and a rotation of volunteer assistants. Is there someone in church who would like the paid job? In my former, tiny congregation, the fact that the paid nursury person was the young adult daughter of a relative of a church member who was trying valiently to pay her way through college made a big difference to getting to "yes" on this issue. We were helping ourselves, but also "contributing to a good cause".

will smama said...

pcit, good thoughts. They have trumped you though on that one since one of the concerns raised was that someone would be paid to miss church. It took all I had not to spit out my water on that one since half of them have adult children who do not darken our doors and they make excuses for them non-stop. I did tell them that sounded like an excuse to me.

As for liability they have argued on the other side of that too. As in if we have hired someone to take care of these matters and something STILL happens aren't we more liable.

So I again label that as an another excuse used by them to mask the true reason which is that they don't know how to explain to Aunt Betty that they approved hiring an 'outsider' to watch our children when everyone clearly knows we should be able to take care of our own... where ARE those slacker, modern moms anyway?

I just pray that we don't stop these growing pains by chopping off the growth at the knees.

You all are too wonderful. Thank you for your kind words, ideas and support.

ppolarbear said...

Oh but that's what Roman Catholics are for, right? They cover your nursery because they can go to church at night? I would say a Jewish person but I've lived in your county and I think both of them are busy. The real option is that there are college students who have a lovely college chapel service, so working on Sunday will not put their souls in jeapordy (not that any of these are attending worship but what they dn't knjow won't hurt them)

Sue said...

Wow. Preacher Mom, you rock.

the reverend mommy said...

There's always stump-grinding. It's easier than nursery duty.

Preacher Mom does indeed rock.