Did you know there is important kingdom work to be done in the infants, crawlers, and toddler classes in our church every single Sunday?
Many years ago when I was preparing a training meeting for our Little Ones volunteers, I ran across a motivating talk addressing nursery workers. In it Sally Michael, the Minister for Parenting and Children’s Discipleship at Bethlehem Baptist Church (John Piper’s church), explained the spiritual business of “Nursery” workers (what we call Little Ones volunteers) at her church in this way:
Everyone who works with children and youth is part of a team of Faith Nurturers—whose job it is to bring them from spiritual infancy to well being on their way to spiritual maturity. We start in the Nursery ministry of the church, promoting a vision that we are Faith Nurturers. And cultivate the attitude that we are doing spiritual business here and not babysitting…There is important business to accomplish in the Nursery. There is Kingdom work to be done.
So all of our Nursery workers are encouraged to spend time praying for every single baby that comes into our Nursery every single Sunday morning, because that is the business of God, that is the business of a Faith Nurturer. As they rock babies, and change diapers, and wind up swings, they are praying…They are nurturing the faith of the next generation, they are spreading a vision, they are pleading with the God of the universe to make Himself real to those babies…
All of our teaching, all of our modeling, all of our relating to children will have no affect on their hearts if God does not call them to Himself. It will all fall on deaf ears and hard hearts, unless God does a redeeming work in them. If we spend Nursery hours pleading for their souls, what might God be pleased to do in their lives?
There is more to your spiritual work in the Little Ones classrooms than just praying, as Molly Cover’s “Beyond Bubbles and Bouncers for Babies” post pointed out. However, praying may be the part we forget or minimize the most on a busy Sunday morning with crying babies all around.
I wrote a post recently about a teacher I had in junior high who used to pray for me, although I never knew that until years later. God worked significantly in my life following my high school years. He “opened my ears and eyes” and “softened my heart” so I could hear and respond to the Gospel, maybe in part because of that teacher’s prayers. Perhaps God will do the same in the lives of Crossing kids because of yours.
As a mom of three young children, I can hardly think of something more moving than to know someone spent a moment praying over one of them. I speak on behalf of the parents at The Crossing when I say, THANK YOU to those who plead with the God of the Universe to make Himself real to our babies. Keep up the important kingdom work!