I found these words from an old (1987) article by Pastor John Piper to be very encouraging for those of us who minister to children—especially for those who work in our church nurseries. Often nursery workers are seen as “baby-sitters” whose main job is to merely provide a safe environment for little ones while their parents are involved in the “real and important” ministries of the church. May these words be an urgent reminder to the church today:
Jesus took the child-belittling culture of his day which defined “greatness” to exclude “receiving children” and he turned it upside down. He said: “Receiving children in my name is the world’s least, and the world’s least is my great.” So wherever the Spirit of Christ pervades, the people who receive children will no longer be the “least.” They will be “great.”
Really? Why? Because to receive a child in Jesus’ name (i.e., out of love, in his strength, and for his glory) is to receive Jesus, and to receive Jesus is to receive God the Father. Which means that Nursery may be more full of God than any other room in the church.
(From Breakfast, Benjamin and Baby-Work, copyright 2013 Desiring God Foundation. Used by permission.)
Does your church long for a God-centered vision of nursery ministry? Check out our resource, A Sure Foundation: A Philosophy and Curriculum for Ministry to Infants and Toddlers. Here is a description:
The church nursery should be an exciting and vital ministry in the church. It should be a launching pad for nurturing the faith of the next generation. A Sure Foundation: A Philosophy and Curriculum for Ministry to Infants and Toddlers is designed to help you transform your ministry to infants and toddlers into an integral beginning—a place of prayer for young children, a place where they hear foundational Bible stories, and a place where children learn simple truth statements and begin to memorize Scripture as they form their language skills.