Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” -Matthew 19:14
I still remember the very first Sunday 23 years ago that my husband Jeff and I took our itty bitty baby Nicole to the church nursery. She had been born premature in the frigid month of January, and the doctor told us not to take her out of the house for three months, so you can imagine my concern in leaving her for the first time. We sat in the last row of the Worship Center because I was sure someone would come for me, and the sermon that Sunday seemed like it would never end. I was pleasantly surprised when I went to pick up my baby that she was dry, happy and was tenderly being held by a lady who is still serving in the nursery, Carol Amos. I quickly learned to love and appreciate all of the nursery volunteers. Serving in the nursery was the first place that Jeff and I had started volunteering because it seemed like an easy place to start, but it wasn’t until I became a parent that I realized the importance of it.
While the nursery will not be the place where the gospel is presented with scripture and special visuals, it will be the place where key impressions are first made. Solid foundations begin here. A baby’s very first understanding of what church is like and, potentially, who God is will be formed in the church nursery from people who care for them in His name. This is far more than just babysitting. The primary emotional task babies must accomplish is to develop trust. Trust is the very bottom line of the gospel. We emphasize to those serving in the nursery that their role, besides making sure all the children’s needs are being met, is to use every opportunity to love them with the love of Jesus. We also are intentional about the music we play to make sure that the children are hearing scripture and songs about Jesus.
Have you thought about the parents who come to church who are either non-believers or new to their faith? We have the ability to allow them to be at ease while attending a worship service and possibly hearing the truth about God for the first time. If we don’t provide this opportunity to families, or do it poorly, some of them will just cease to come back, missing a chance for them to know and understand who God is and what He’s done for them.
As important as the nursery is, one would think that there are always plenty of people just waiting to serve. Sadly, that is not the case. Did you know that each Sunday in order for our nurseries to be fully staffed we need 18 volunteers? If you are one of those volunteers, we appreciate you and thank you for making a spiritual investment in the lives of our young families. If you have never served or haven’t in a long time, would you please consider starting? If you have been attending LifePoint for at least four months and are in 6th grade or older, you’re eligible. Here’s how to volunteer:
- Sign up at the nursery ministry booth for which ever date, service and room (infants, 1’s, 2’s) you prefer
- Fill out a one-time background check and statement of faith
- Our nursery coordinator, Chelle Bruce, will provide you with training your first Sunday
Two year olds are not going to head out to the mission field, nor are six month olds going to recite the plan of salvation, but Hebrews 11:1 reminds us that “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Through faith we can be confident that God is planting seeds of the gospel in the hearts of babies and toddlers. Through faith we can be assured that we are making a significant difference that we cannot see as we help babies establish a trust that will one day, Lord willing, be a trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Thank you in advance for prayerfully considering being the hands and feet of Jesus and serving the youngest ones at LifePoint.
Director for Children’s Ministry