7 Reasons to Serve in the Church Nursery

7 Reasons to Serve in the Church Nursery

Too often serving in the church nursery can seem like a thankless job. One of the key tasks for children’s ministry leaders is to help volunteers understand their importance. With that in mind, I offer these following 7 reasons why serving in the church nursery is important. Click here for a print-friendly version of this article to share offline.

Reason #1
God is in the church nursery. This may come as a shock, but the Bible has specific promises about God’s presence when children are welcomed and loved in Jesus’ name. You can read my article about this titled God Is In The Church Nursery.

Reason #2
Your service in the church nursery allows church goers to focus on worship, rather than worrying about their children. In a very real sense your ministry makes it possible for the pastor to fulfill his ministry.

Reason #3
The first (and sometimes lasting) feelings a child will have toward church is formed in the nursery department. While not everyone agrees, I believe that a positive experience in the church nursery is essential.

Reason #4
When you serve in the nursery, you are being entrusted with the most important (and vulnerable) members of the church family. There is no greater treasure on this side of heaven than the little ones God has given us. You must be someone special to have a job that is so important.

Reason #5
Your service is essential for your own spiritual growth. You may have never looked at it this way, but a growing Christian is always a serving Christian. Jesus was known for putting others first, when you serve in the church nursery you are walking in his example.

Reason #6
The church nursery is the first contact young families will have with your church. Your friendly greeting and exceptional care for their children can make a great first impression for your church. If they don’t feel like their children are safe, they will not return – and rightly so.

Reason #7
Your service in the church nursery is a powerful opportunity for prayer. If every nursery worker would spend several minutes praying over the children in their care, imagine how God might begin to change this coming generation. There is no better way to create an environment of spiritual nurture than to pray while you serve in the nursery.

I hope this article will be useful to you and your church. If so, leave a comment to let me know. Your feedback is an encouragement for me to post articles like this.

What do you think about this list? If you have an 8th reason, just leave me a comment below.

Remember that God blesses those who serve his children.


Comments

  1. Carly says

    I love this. I teach 0-3 for our first service, and I love it. The way our church handles children in the sanctuary is that all children are always welcome. During first service when many of our small groups take place as well, we have full 0-18 classes (0-3, 4, kinders, grade school, and youth)., and during second service parents are encouraged to take their children in to service with them, and there is only child care for 0-3. This makes it easier for those of us that have the younger who can’t quite comprehend quite.
    As for noise in service, our policy has always been the same: Noise means that there are children in the worship listening to God’s word.Children are our future, if there is a little noise, whats the issue? It is good for them to be in service! That being said, all parents try to keep their children quite of course, and we provide coloring sheets, but a little noise here or there just reminds us that there are GOD’S children in our presence, worshiping with us!

  2. Ruth says

    Excellent article. I think some of the comments are stretching the age group by implying that all children should be in the church service. I kept my children in the church with me until they were about 8 weeks old — when they slept in their portable car seat. Once they started fussing we put them in the nursery. Any parent of a toddler needs a break and that one and half precious hours of the morning service should be an opportunity for a mom (parents) to re-focus on God in praise, worship and teaching without the distractions of a crying fussing child. Not only that, it is just plain much more considerate for those around you …. allow them the time to worship unhindered by the “cute little baby over there.” Frankly in our church there are parents of kids who are 6, 8 and 14 who should remove their kids, they are such a distraction and constantly “whispering” too loudly. It’s precious to see them with their parents — for all of 10 minutes — then they need to be disciplined or removed. Sorry, God’s house is not to be a house of confusion and chaos.

  3. Rach says

    It’s such a delicate balance. I believe having children IN the service teaches the body so much about being a part of the church FAMILY. We keep the kids in during the music, and they make noise and dance… And I think that teaches us all something valuable about how God views children and the beautiful simple expression of love and worship they have for Him.
    We DO run a program for 12m+ during the sermon. We tell Bible stories, sing sons and play. As a mum of 4 young children I DO appreciate being able to hear a sermon from start to finish. In the 3 years between when I had my first child and this program started I did end up feeling a little harassed, hungry and dry.

  4. says

    While I understand a crying child should be removed from a church service, this article makes me sad. It makes me sad because children are not thought to be part of the congregation. Meaning, the thought process is that it is better to remove a child from their family so they don’t have to ‘worry’ about them, rather than enjoying a beautifful time of worship with the family of Christ. It is truly sad to me that the church community embraces the idea of segregation based on age, rather than fully wrapping their arms around a Titus 2 mentality. I also do not see how this is based on scripture. Yes, there are times when adults need to share information children should not be privvy to, I can’t find any example in the Bible that shows children being taken from their children or vice versa when the Word of the Lord is being shared.

    If Church service is about worshipping God, why are we not worshipping as a family?

    I find it absolutely beautiful when a Dad and Mom are in a church service with all of their children. There is always an opportunity for the parents to help guide the child(ren) in worshipping God and learning the Word together.

    And to serve others, goes beyond anything we do in any program. What about helping a Mom when she has a child who is needing a little attention. Maybe hold him for her during the service. Maybe add extra treats to your own bags to give to children. And best yet, what about grace.

    If you took this list and changed it to serving during worship in the worship service, you can apply the same concepts, grow family bonds and actually help parents learn that their children are ‘not in the way’ and the family of Christ does want to walk beside them.

    Too often I have seen Mother’s feelings hurt because they are doing what they have been called by God to do – and training their children, not handing them over to others and worshipping with their children.

    Let’s learn to serve while we worship together. That may take children out of programs and place them back in the lap of their parents – worshipping, growing family bonds both within the family and the family of God.

    • Janet Butler says

      AS a mom of 3 sons and now a grandson, I have to disagree with you about bringing babies and young children to the worship service. I think it is cruel to expect a baby to be quiet when they have no way to understand why. They are getting nothing from what is being said and the main thing, neither is the mom, who is constantly tending to the child. I have served in nursery all the way up to teaching Sunday School to children, and that is where they will learn and worship at church because it is catered to their level and their learning ability. How do they hear the Bible stories and songs and crafts and enjoy time spent with other children their age if they are in an adult worship service?

      • Adrienne says

        On the contrary, children learn from what they see and do, not from what they hear. When they are in a worship service with their family they are learning what it is to be part of the church family and what it looks like to worship God. Statistically only 10% of children who attend church apart from their parents will keep the faith. (faithfactors.com) They learn that faith is something for children that is outgrown. 81% of a parents feel responsible for the faith of their children (and the Bible agrees!), most wish the church would support them in this role. The question is not, how can we make a great program? The question is: How can we bring everyone in our church family closer to God (including children!)? As for Bible instruction, that is mainly the parents role. Let the children play and do crafts with friends at play dates and preschool.

        • KYLE BENNETT says

          statistics are a terrible way to start a conversation I teach 90 kids in junior church ages k-7th grade according to that ill just tell 80 of them no sense to come back your faith will fail u along the way hope that your kid fits in the 10 % huh.as for they don’t get it by hearing what. bible do you get your info from you need to read john 10-27 my copy says “My sheep hear my voice and I know them, AND THEY FOLLOW ME

        • Melody says

          Woshipping God is not something that you learn by observing, ie “what it looks like to worship God”. The importance of teaching a child the Bible from a young age is vital, and parents can do that, but most parents will find that the children’s ministry at a local church helps to support the family teaching, and provide teaching for those children who come from homes who do not receive the teaching they receive. I know we would try to teach our children something and it would seem to be in a vacuum, then they came home from Sunday School or Pioneer Clubs and they finally “got it”. It’s a team effort! Worship is THEN an outpouring of the lessons learned and the developing relationship of a born-again child to his Heavenly Father, as we know, worship is only for believers, you cannot ask an unsaved person to participate in true worship.

      • Lynda says

        I agree that families should bring ALL their children to church, & yes, even the babies—new borns, right up to university age. There are still several families in our congregation who do so, & it has made me smile to see others make themselves available to them, so that mom & dad both can stay to hear the sermon, & still be in the sanctuary to keep an eye on their older children. It is my humble opinion that the individuals in that service, who do not have children at home, could & often do just go to the parents, & ask if they can take the small infants & toddlers out of the service, if they are really kicking up a fuss, settle them down, & if possible just bring them back in when they seem to have settled down. Jesus said–”suffer the little children to come unto me”, & in so saying, I believe that includes bringing them to church to learn mire about Him! Yes even infants & toddlers!

  5. says

    So your pastor’s wife can watch you go crazy? lol no not really. (We have anywhere between 2 to 3 kids a week but with a few special events going on lately, kids christmas play, new year musical etc.. We’ve had upwards of 30 kids between ages 6 months to 4 years) But this is really a great article. I’m 15 and help in my churches nursery and have never thought of it this way!

  6. Stephanie says

    I have served in nursery for quite a few years, thank you for the reminder of why we serve. I am going to share with our other nursery workers

  7. says

    Wow. I am encouraged AND discouraged by all these comments. The nursery is a vital ministry in any church. I guess I am unique that I have one child who behaved beautifully in church until she had 2 baby siblings? Or maybe it was just that she was in a unique position as the youth minister’s kid at that point. She attended an early service with both parents (unless mom at the piano) from the time she was born. Following that, she got to be with her age group for Sunday School (Palma’s Smiley’s “To Babies With Love” curriculum that our teachers had been using for 30 years…still wonderful!). Then she got her nursery “play-time” during the 2nd service, while her father and I led children’s church for grades 1-6 (I was always torn about this as I grew up “in the pew”). I always said she had the best of it…the nursery was not a “reward” for bad behavior for her. However, when we got to 3 kids, I could not do as good a job quieting them as I would like. We had moved to a new ministry location, and I was unable to get us all to the early service. Prayerfully, I began the “To Babies with Love” at our church so my kids would have a Sunday School class.

    Currently (my little ones are now 7 & 8) I teach the babies during early service nursery, during Sunday School, and sometimes during my 2nd service rotation in the nursery. It would be such a blessing to have volunteers who were not pulled in all directions, but right now we have several who do more than one role. It is an honor to pray for each child in that room, whether I spend time with them just once or every week. Do not miss your opportunities to pray for the children that God has entrusted to you! If you are in the sanctuary, pray that God would limit distractions and that all (no matter their ages) would be focused on Him. No, I would not leave my baby with strangers, but some first time attenders DO that. Be prepared…there is a beautiful poem about “My Turn in the Nursery” where a nursery volunteer realizes that the mother of the crying child she had cared for the week before came to know the Lord. God can speak to anyone at any time, but sometimes He uses the loving care of a nursery worker to let a parent have some peace in order to hear His still small voice. Please read Robbie Castleman’s “Parenting in the Pew” for wonderful suggestions on guiding a child to worship in the adult worship setting. She suggests that coming in to grown-up worship time be an anticipated privilege one gains at the milestone of their 3rd or 4th birthday (been a few years since I read it!) and so it was something that her sons looked forward to. I want my children and those around me to truly live the verse “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Come, let us go to the house of the Lord!’” (Psalm 122:1)

  8. says

    I am the director for our nursery department. I truly believe that putting your child in the nursery is up to the parents. That being said, I do not appreciate trying to sit and concentrate on what our Pastor is trying to say hearing a mother say 1,000 times during the sermon, “you better be quite!” or “Stop talking right this minute!” or “If you don’t stop, I’m going to take you out!” (and never does), or the snapping of fingers at the child. If your child can not behave, and you don’t make them, they DO NOT belong in church. Of course, the parents that usually have the worst children are the ones in denial about how they behave. Not only do we have a nursery for our little ones, but we have a crying room set up in the back of the auditorium with a window so the mother can see the service, and a sound system so she can hear it. I also believe that yes, children can glean something from a sermon, (the Word of God does not return void) but I also believe that they can get so much more when being taught on their level. They think as a child thinks, and could easily be confused by teaching above their understanding.

  9. Mark J. Bessermin says

    Mr. Kummer, I so appreciated your article, having been the recipient of children into our high school youth group for many years from these early foundations. This same foundation established early on has immeasurable benefits to those who follow next in bringing up children in the way they should go, especially the part of having these same children not departing from the crucial teaching and experience that God has for them versus what the world offers. Those same high schoolers behave so much more differently than those not having the previously mentioned experiences. Thank you.

    I would also like to add a #8 if you will, and that is the amazing blessing and feeling of being purposeful within your own life for volunteering in such a critical time and area of these youth’s life. I now volunteer in our advanced Christian education school, and once more I feel the fulfillment and excitement of being such an important part of someone’s life. And no, it is not a burden at all, but a joy!

    Blessings to all who read Mr. Kummer’s article, and especially to those who serve in this capacity.

    Sincerely,
    Mark J. Bessermin

  10. Selena Tucker says

    Right on point! I started in nursery in 2002 & now am early childhood director. The unconditional love I get from the kids keeps me going! Some of them don’t even remember me taking care of them but they know I love them!! They all love coming to church (some are in high school now) & parents are always telling me they get up on Sunday ready to come. The blessings I have received are numerous! Especially the love from kids that don’t care what you give them, only that you TRUELY care!!!

  11. Bev says

    Great post. I work in the church nursery once a month. It is a blessing to serve our youngest church goers and their parents. I have heard from more than one young mother what a comfort it is to leave their babies with workers they know and trust. It is also a good chance to have an hour of fellowship with the other ladies who are serving with you, even in the midst of interruptions :) Thank you for sharing the importance of this vital ministry. I think if everyone looked at this as a vital ministry that God honors, there wouldn’t be such a need for workers.

  12. Melissa says

    I am the preschool director at our church and I love this blog post! Thanks so much!

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