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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

Wednesday Pastor's Duties

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Today NPH moderate his last meeting of the church's Daycare and Preschool board; we're handing off moderatorial duties beginning in January. At this meeting, NPH will need to propose and advocate that the Daycare and Preschool budget begin to absorb some of the church's utilities and custodial costs, a suggestion that is bound to meet with resistance. The relationship between the "church" and the "preschool" has always been fuzzy; the preschool is not accredited by the state and so is a church preschool, complete with quasi-religious curriculum and teachers who attend "Christian preschool teacher" workshops every year. In addition, the preschool is governed by a volunteer board of directors made up of church members and moderated (up till now) by the church's pastor.

Yet it's a separate entity. It pays rent to the church, and most of its staff, students, and parents have little else to do with the church. Of course, NPH has tried to create a climate of belonging in the preschool--"preschool students and their families are a part of our church family"--but that kind of language only goes so far when the worshiping congregation on Sundays never sees the folks who use the building Monday through Friday.

Ministry or business? Or both? That's the pressing question that exists constantly in a church-run preschool and daycare. Right now, as a business, the preschool is more solvent than it's ever been, and it's only getting better. While the church, as is the case with most small churches, is ever-mindful of its cash flow.

Anyway, that's the first part of NPH's day.

The second part will find him picking up a young man and taking him to the community health clinic. This is our first experience with the local free clinic, and so far it's been trying. Calling to get an appointment was like trying to win a radio promotion: dial, busy signal, dial again; dial, busy signal, dial again; and so on. And once we did get through, we were on hold for nearly an hour before we got an appointment, the first available one being at 7:15 in the evening the following day. But this is a free clinic, one staffed by volunteer doctors, so we're not complaining.


posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 5:07 AM



Found my way to your blog via Kairos...and have been reading for the past couple of weeks.

We have a daycare/preschool in our small 89 member congregation that I've been serving for over the past year.

It was started about 9 years ago as a 'mission' of our congregation. and I've spent the last year with the session basically continuing to promote it as such (there has been a bit of division in the congregation about it). But I'm not not entirely convinced that it is indeed a 'mission.'

Sounds like ours is more integrated into the life of our church. Our director is a member and we have a few staff members and volunteers from the church. A few church members came to us via the daycare and some of our current members utilize it.

Having the director as a member presents its own difficulties because she is part of one of the "big" families in our congregation ...so it's very difficult for me to adequately supervise her.

We don't have an oversight board but since most of the problems are financial in nature we do oversee it via the session's finance committee. Big issues do come before the session when the arise.

The day care doesn't pay rent and the church covers most of the utilities and overhead expenses like insurance. Even so, it's still not quite a break even operation. (And we can't seem to figure out how anyone makes money with a day care?)

Anyway I can commiserate with you and your church's struggle.

commented by Anonymous jim, 7:02 AM  
by the way my blog is www.thechurchgeek.com
check it out when you get a chance.
commented by Blogger jim b, 7:04 AM  

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