Hi. You may not know me. I am on your leadership team. I coordinate the volunteers who serve your most vulnerable – your babies and toddlers. I love on them, and play with them, and do my best to demonstrate the universal acceptance and love that God would and does bestow upon them. I have coordinated this team for the last year. There are 6 of us that serve in your nursery. We desperately need more.
I am a counselor. As a counselor, I only work with adults—because I like adults. I apologize if this offends. I sometimes offend when I speak truth about myself. I am your nursery coordinator. I do not actually like other people’s children.
Let that sink in for a minute.
I have two of my own that I adore, but others’ kids make me tired. Were it not for the grace of God, and a sense of calling to this for a season, I would find no joy in this service. And I am what you have to offer? I have served in your nursery for years – since I had my own in the nursery. Yeah – my 6-year old toe-head is the one who doesn’t belong to the Crams. There are others here who could joyfully serve, but they can’t because they are men. You, church, have blocked half of our eligible population from serving, and instead called forth leaders who struggle to find joy in their service.
The reason I began with an introduction is this: because of the small number of nursery volunteers, and the need to have two adults in that room on any given Sunday with one on the schedule as a back-up, more Sundays than not, I am in there and not participating in corporate worship. I reserve one weekend every 5-6 weeks to visit family out of town. I have been in church once on the last 6 weeks. Last time I was here, in this room, for worship, I greeted someone that I thought was a newcomer. She wasn’t. She thought I was. I’m not.
Because of my service to your littles, I did not know that today was a semi-annual church meeting. So I didn’t get the opportunity to make it known that your nursery staff is drowning. Your church is suffering.
Our body has a policy that prevents men from serving in the nursery, where there are always 2 unrelated adults and an open door, with a baby gate to prevent adventurous kiddos from wandering out. Yet next door, in the pre-school room, two sometimes-related adults, one of whom can be a man are behind closed doors for 1-2 hours. I recognize, and do not want to dismiss the trauma in a leader’s experience that informs this policy. However – we are too small to keep going in this way.
Last time I was in service – We discussed Daniel chapter 2. I wrote in my margins, “How would we respond if a prophet spoke up in this church?” Today, we discussed chapter 9, and my question still lingers in my head.
As of September, church, I will no longer serve in this manner. I will still be seen in the nursery for a bit, until other volunteers can step in. I beg you, church, allow men who are back-ground cleared, and able to joyfully serve, work in your nursery. Do not prevent 50% of this body from serving. We can’t afford it.
2 thoughts on “Even the church has an underbelly.”
It would be really, really nice if gender wasn’t the most essential qualification for any given ministry. Not all females want to be assigned to kitchen duty or nursery duty just because they’re women. I’m sure the same can be said about men in leadership. There are people with talents, gifts, natural abilities that are being buried or hidden under a basket rather than allowed to shine because of their gender. You might have no choice but to shut down the nursery entirely until the point that things get so bad that the men up and do something about it – since it’s really not fair to leave things as they are.
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I was “relieved” of any further ministry dates in the nursery after posting this on a social network at the end of August.
As it turns out, the church did change it’s policy, but quietly. I was not even aware it happened until one of the fathers in the church volunteered to serve in nursery (after seeing my social network post), and began serving in November.