Entrusting Our Treasured Possessions
There is absolutely nothing that can prepare you for parenting. From the time that first cry pierces the air of the delivery room, your life is split in half, and you suddenly feel the unimaginable joy but also intense responsibility as a caregiver. For me, it was as if my heart was taken out of its chest, swaddled up and placed in a window display for everyone to examine. Never had I felt so elated and yet also so vulnerable.
That trepidation followed me around everywhere as I sought out safe environments for my girls. I would quickly size up places such as playgrounds and classrooms and the people in charge that either felt that same heaviness about their development or didn’t quite care as much as I did. With church being such an integral part of my life, that same pressure and scrutiny naturally transferred onto it. Without thinking, there were some questions that formed:
- Is this a preschool ministry where my children are valued or tolerated?
- Will my children learn or simply pass the time?
- Do the workers seem annoyed or happy to see my children?
Whether or not it was fair to put the ministry, supplied heavily by unpaid volunteers, under such a microscope, it still happened regardless. My wife and I quickly saw the components of a preschool ministry marked by excellence. The importance of that ministry moved further up on our intangible, subconscious checklist of church ministries.
As parents, your children are your most prized possessions. With anything of worth, you’re going to make sure wherever you’re leaving that item is safe and whoever you’re leaving it with knows its worth. How much more does a well-ordered, Spirit-driven preschool ministry set your mind at ease, knowing your treasures are in good hands?
In our local churches and churches we have visited, there are several things we have noticed that made us feel our girls were valued:
- A modern, clean preschool ministry environment.
- Our children called by name when they arrive in the department.
- Prepared lessons plans that include fun activities and songs the children sing back to us at home.
There is no price tag that can be placed on a child who is being cared for and taught by loving, Christ-led ministers who are called to impact children.
DeWayne Hamby is the director of Communications at the Church of God of Prophecy International Offices and the editor of the White Wing Messenger. He is also active in his local congregation, Peerless Road Church, serving in the worship team, in the choir, as a small group pastor and preschool ministry volunteer. He and his wife LeAnn have three daughters, Natalie (7), and twins Hailey and Hannah (4). Visit his website at www.dewaynehamby.com or connect through twitter @dewaynehamby.