What about Men Helping in the Church Nursery?
Readers have asked, “What about men helping in the church nursery?” Our children’s ministry used men in the nursery. The one male nursery worker I was impressed with had a son in his room. He traded off days with his wife to cover filling one position in the nursery.
He added a different dimension to the nursery, ages 0-5, as a father. Did having his own son in the nursery take time away from the other children? He was able to attend to each child and show his own how to take turns, wait, and be compassionate. He needed help when they had a craft but who doesn’t when you have 8 children in attendance.
How Did Parents Feel about Men in the Church Nursery?
Did the parents of the other children have a problem with a man being the lead in the nursery? Some mother’s were apprehensive as they compared their own husband’s interaction with their children and found areas their husband fell short in caring for their children the way they wanted them to. We let the mother’s peek in on the male teachers. Granted, we did not have a huge amount of males requesting to serve in the nursery! The ones that did work in the nursery were serious about their commitment.
Our church also did background checks on all children’s ministry workers. Our state (Washington) has a form that can be picked up at the WA State Patrol’s office that does the check. There’s a small fee, but not a problem when you believe in protecting the children.
Changing Diapers in the Church Nursery?
What about changing diapers if there are babies in the nursery? Our set up was to send for the mother’s to come and change their baby’s diapers. If there were any other emergencies, the mother or father was also called in for that. Larger churches will separate the babies from the toddlers in a 0-3 year old room and a 3.5 years old-5 years old in another class. More attention can be paid to teaching a toddler than an infant. In the infant room, you can have a chair for holding and rocking the babies. We asked the ‘grandmothers’ in our church if they would give 15-20 minutes of their time on a Sunday to be grandmother to babies by being the ones to rock and hold that day. This was a great help to the nursery worker who could possibly do a short story and craft with the 2-3 years old for that 15-20 minutes. Remember, for each year of age, that’s how many minutes you can hold a child’s attention. Two and three year olds will give you 2-3 minutes.
What about the Men Helping in the Church Nursery Missing Sunday’s Teaching and Fellowship?
As in all cases of adults working in the children’s ministry, there are issue with them being able to be in attendance to hear the Word of God taught on that Sunday. We had CD’s made for the workers to listen to, but that doesn’t really come close to being in the church service. If you belong to a church that only meets once a week, that worker will have missed with no chance to be involved in the fellowship. If that continues for a long period, you’ll begin to see fatigue in your workers with them quitting. A schedule should be set up to be sure that each worker gets into the service more than the amount of time spent in the nursery. Your church may have more than one meeting time and day set up, but there’s no guarantee the workers will show up. Encourage your workers to attend Sunday’s when they’re not on duty. They need God’s Word to renew their mind, fellowship and people to love on them too. If you are the fatigued worker reading this post, I urge you to speak with your leaders in children’s ministry to let them know your need to be in the service more often. Then pray for and look for a replacement. The leader needs you to speak up. They may be disappointed, but you’re helping them find a replacement means more than you know!
Final Thoughts on Anyone Helping Others!
I leave you with this thought…..when the attendant on the airplane gives you the ‘instructions’ about putting your safety belt on, obeying the no smoking sign in the bathroom, exits and what to do when the oxygen bags fall…….remember what they said about those oxygen bags. “If you are sitting next to a child or person in need, put your oxygen mask on first and then put theirs on last.” You can’t help that person in need of oxygen if you’re also deprived of that oxygen mask and have passed out.
What are your thoughts on this subject? Leave a comment to help the readers!