Ages 6 weeks - 3 years
Children are never too young to hear about Jesus, and workers in the POA's nursery, Wonderland, take their role seriously! Even babies can understand God's love for them and how important it is to be a part of the church family if they are in a positive environment that continually reinforces these simple, yet important messages at every opportunity.
Wonderland is designed to facilitate children's personal relationships with Jesus Christ and the Word. The mission of this ministry includes fostering skill-building through relevant Biblical teaching, positive role modeling, and esteem building. Activities and songs are chosen with a focus in mind: to prepare children to discover their uniqueness and, eventually, God's mission for their lives.
The nursery is open for all church services and for many special events. The management of the nursery's operation is overseen by a team that consists of an overall director; a Sunday morning supervisor, a Sunday evening supervisor, and a Wednesday evening supervisor; and a room captain for each room during each service. Most volunteer workers have an assigned shift time and work on a rotating schedule; many help on a biweekly or monthly basis.
Children are placed in one of three rooms based on their age. The first class is for infants from the age of six weeks until they begin walking. The second room is for one year olds, the third room is for two year olds, and the fourth room is for three year olds. Current enrollment is at approximately 100 kids.
Upon children's first visit to the nursery, they are assigned a permanent number. Three laminated badges are made with the child's name and number. One is clipped to the diaper bag, one is pinned on the child, and the third is given to the parent. For security reasons, no one is allowed to pick up a child without presenting the child's tag. The number system also allows parents to know when they are needed in the nursery: the child's number can be shown on the screens in the main sanctuary via Churchview.
All children are provided with a cubby for their supplies. Once children graduate to the one-year-old room, parents are asked to leave a sippy cup in the cubby and to bring only diapers each service. This ministry has benefited from Gospel Light's Little Blessings Nursery Smart Pages.