Loving the Little Ones
In case you haven’t noticed, College Park families take seriously the mandate to “be fruitful and multiply.” Ha! There is no shortage of little image-bearers worshipping (and running) through the church on a typical Sunday morning. As a Team Leader for Nursery 1, I enjoy serving the families of the youngest College Park attendees–babies from four months to one year old. In the nursery, we are not merely babysitting, so that parents can enjoy the worship service. That is far from the truth. In reality, there is kingdom work happening each week.
The word that comes to mind when I think about serving in nursery is “intentional.” The mission to ignite a passion to follow Jesus, includes those in infancy. This intentionality starts at the door during check-in, where we greet children by name and take down important information about their care during the service. While some kids start playing right away, others decide that the nursery (and the absence of their parents) takes a little getting used to.
To help calm anxious little ones, we turn on quiet worship lullabies or take them to the wall of “big themes” to help us turn our hearts to God. Colorful panels help us remember, “God made everything,” “God is good,” and “Jesus is my friend.” It is not rare for a team member to start singing “Jesus Loves Me” or another favorite children’s song to soothe the tears. In this way, we begin sharing foundational biblical truths with our babies.
Snack time and diaper changes provide us with another chance to be intentional with the children. As we engage with them individually, we pray for each child by name. There are often little blue sticker on the backs of the babies, indicating they have been lifted up to the Father during the hour. There are also Scripture prompts and prayer ideas posted around the room to help us remember how we can pray specifically for these boys and girls to grow into men and women of faith.
Lastly, I want to say a word about those who serve in the nursery. Every week I tell my team it takes an army to care for all the children during the worship services. I’m so grateful for every volunteer who selflessly gives their time to serve and disciple the littlest ones at College Park. We don’t know how our loving arms might impact the long-term faith of a child. Not only that, but as we, the grown-ups, are able to share our weekly lives with each other during our nursery time. We encourage and spur one another on in our own walks with the Lord. To God be the glory!
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do (change diapers or rock a child), do it all for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).