Little Lambs Ministry
October 2022 | Written by Barb Ryczek
There have been many changes in the 30 years since I dropped my babies off at the church nursery. To some the church nursery may seem like a “small ministry” (no pun intended). Nevertheless, it can develop into one of the most vibrant and life-changing ministries in a church. I have witnessed this in my lifetime. Last year the Porch featured an article on Gashland’s Little Lambs room that had been remodeled. When I entered the room the message I received was “Come In!” Nursery workers are prepared, competent and caring, and the space is clean thanks to our Little Lambs Ministry Director, Nicole Moncada. She is the handshake of the church and it is her desire to minister to each of the little ones who enter the nursery.
There’s an organized check-in process as well as a place to take special requests. When I went to talk with Nicole about this article, I viewed a sickness policy on the front door and inside a separate place to put each child’s belongings. This ministry is not just caring for babies but also the families. One important thing that is written down is how to contact parents during the service if something happens with the child in the nursery. There are First Team members that are contacted to let parents know immediately if they are needed. Nicole tries to keep a 1-4 ratio of workers to babies.
When asked “What activities have you seen your child participating in at Little Lambs that they seem to enjoy the most?”, these parents responded. Lacey Morefield said, “It has been such a joy for Michael and I to see how Asher recites memory verses at home (with motions). To see him learn and store God’s word in his little heart amazes us! He also tells them how much he loves the goldfish crackers too!” Ishi and Chris Stackpole stated, “We love hearing our daughter talk about the Bible stories and sing the songs from Little Lambs throughout the week.” Madison Stewart responded, “I have enjoyed watching my girls grow from the youngest ones in the nursery to the ‘big kids’ with a sense of responsibility in caring about the younger classmates.” She also said that her little girls love Miss Nicole and the inviting atmosphere in the nursery and the focused lessons.
Another question equally important was what helps you as a parent feel secure in leaving your child in the Little Lambs nursery? Madison explains, “My deepest desire as a parent is to disciple my girls, to point them toward Christ. I cannot emphasize enough how much Little Lambs means to our family because the nursery offers more than just free childcare in a safe environment. These leader’s partner with my husband and I intentionally cultivating our girls’ hearts with a Kingdom oriented vision. They creatively and lovingly live out Christ’s encouragement to “Let the little children come to me.” Lacey answers, “It’s been watching them first hand that has given me the most peace and confidence in taking Asher. They love and guide their little hearts and help teach them to play well, share well, learn Bible stories, memory verses and songs and so much more!” Lacey adds, “Taking steps to let your child grow up even in small ways is so hard as a parent, but I would one hundred percent entrust his moldable heart to them!” The last question was do you have any suggestions for things you would like to see in the Little Lambs ministry and Lacey, Madison and the Stackpoles said no. Lacey did add these thoughts and Ishi echoed them, “Nicole has done an amazing job at thinking through all aspects of what our kids need. Playtime that stretches the mind, books, a welcoming place to enter, story time on the blanket (while eating goldfish), crafts that teach our kids skills and songs.” Lacey highly encourages everyone, especially parents of Little Lambs kids, to volunteer at least once a quarter to experience the wonder. Nicole has reached out and announced at the church brunch that volunteers are needed and welcome. Nicole’s contact information is email@example.com.