Melissa Edgington on Why We Should All Work in the Church Nursery

It’s not obligation; it’s joy to work in the church nursery.

I remember when Emerald was tiny, and I was completely overwhelmed with my life. I had a first grader, a preschooler and a new baby, and I couldn’t wait for those glorious two hours on Sunday when I could drop all of them off in their various classes and go have some adult conversation, without any tiny hands grasping for my dress, my hands, my hair or any other body part. For two hours, I was my own, at least physically. I thanked God for those blessed men and women who volunteered to take a needy baby out of the worn out hands of her ragged mother, those saints who were willing to handle the crying, the spitting up, the diaper changes and the bottles. It was a magnificent ministry to exhausted, overwrought mothers like me.

Work in the Church Nursery Can Be a Touchy Subject

Yet, the nursery always seems to be a touchy subject in churches. Everyone has their own ideas about how it should function and who should work in there. Some churches have more resources than others, some have more small children than others, some have an easier time finding volunteers than others. Just a few days ago I ran across an online discussion about church nurseries, and tired young mothers were declaring that they shouldn’t have to volunteer there, that other people should step up and take care of the babies and small children so that these exhausted moms can enjoy their time at church, one of the few respites that they get in their long week.

I understand why they feel this way. I have felt that way myself at different stages of life. But, there’s an important reason why mamas should continue to volunteer, even if it means that once or twice a quarter they will be rocking babies or playing with preschoolers during the church service. And that reason has nothing to do with the fact that churches need that young mama demographic to help out (although they do). The reason mothers should work in the church nursery is because it gives us a chance to serve one another.

Work in the Church Nursery Because Moms Need You

Who can better sympathize with an overwhelmed, somewhat depressed, sleep-deprived, dark-circles-sporting mother than one who is there herself? Who will be most sensitive to a mother’s needs and concerns? Other young mamas, of course. Who sees most clearly how frightening it can be to drop off a baby for the first time? Who can most sincerely take a young mother’s hand and say, I’m with you, sister. I am just as tired as you are, and there is solidarity in the two of us caring for each other’s children in the name of Christ.

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Source: Church Leaders