Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why I hate church nurseries

The subject of whether or not church nurseries are scriptural and whether or not I think they should exist is one of my favorite hobby horses. Please bear with me as I go off on it for a while in this post.

For those readers who think nurseries are a must, and without them church would be a circus, this post will do little to convince them otherwise because they are willingly ignorant, and inconsiderate of the fact that children are the most important audience.

Rather, my post is intended to embolden parents who are currently struggling with this issue to take a stand against nurseries, and prove that yes, you can and should have your children in church right alongside with you.

My husband devoted a large part of his most recent Sunday night sermon, "How to win children to Christ", to preach on this very subject, and I have embedded the video of it below. While the entire sermon is great, the part pertaining to nurseries starts at 36:14. For some reason the camera was not focused properly, but the sound quality is obviously unaffected by that.



I am not going to repeat the points from the sermon here, but would like to add the following:

Keeping children out of the service and leaving them in a nursery is not only detrimental to their spiritual growth, but also their physical health. Nurseries are like leper colonies, and any and all sickness will be passed around as toys (and the accompanying body fluids) are freely shared. In a small church, there may only be one nursery, in which case older kids could hurt younger children by throwing toys, biting/hitting them, or accidentally stepping on the little ones - I have seen all of these. A baby might accidentally be given the bottle of another child, something that even with labeled bottles happens all the time.

There is a prevailing notion that young children get sick a lot and that that's just the way it is. According to statistics, preschool age children get about 9 colds per year. This number is absolutely ridiculous, but sadly true. When our kids used to go to the nursery during church services, they would get sick at least once per month, but more often it was twice per month. Today I know that almost all of this sickness was completely self-inflicted. Now, the kids get sick maybe once or twice per year at the most. The children in the nursery share germs with each other. They are also exposed to the germs of their respective older siblings, of which they may be a carrier without showing any symptoms of illness yet. They can get sick from a nursery worker who either does not know that she is spreading a virus that she is carrying, or who knew she was sick but didn't want to miss out on holding the babies in the nursery.

While children are exposed to germs out in public all day long, it is not as aggressive of an onslaught as in a nursery. A child that is exposed to a few germs at the store or in the church auditorium will most often shake it off before it develops into an illness. Such is not the case when their system is overloaded with the amount of germs that they are exposed to in a closed environment such as a nursery with other sick children.

I could go on for hours on this point alone. In short, our kids used to get sick all the time. Since we took them out of the nursery (which was well-maintained and cleaned regularly) they hardly ever get sick any more. Best of all, they are not passing sickness on to my husband, as they had before, which would mean substantial financial losses because of him being too sick to work.

Then there is the question of safety. Churches draw freaks like moths are drawn to light. People are trusting, courteous, and easy targets. How can anyone know that the sweet nursery worker that they just handed their child off to is not a predator? I get so tired of hearing about background checks. They are 100% worthless. All a background check says it that someone has never been convicted of a crime. Maybe they just have never committed one yet? Maybe they just didn't get caught? Every child molester had a clean record at one time - do you want your child to be the first victim? I am not saying that you should go around suspecting everyone, I am saying you should not go around blindly trusting anyone just because they happen to go to your church. Would you trust that same person at church with all your personal banking information, your wallet, the keys to your house and car, and all your money in cash, to do with it as they saw fit? Hardly. To me, my children are worth so much more than all that together.

Learning to sit still in church will also be a valuable lesson for younger children, rather than picking up every bad behavior from other kids in the nursery. No child is perfect, my own included, which is why they shouldn't just all be cooped up together to learn each others worst habits.

According to the Bible, it is wrong to tell people who come to church where to sit:

James 2:3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:

According to the Bible, Jesus was angry when the disciples tried to keep the children away from him:

Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Luke 18:16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

According to the Bible, it is wrong for the pastor to rule over and command another man's wife by forcing her to use the nursery.

Romans 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

1Peter 5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

Yet, there is not one single verse in the entire Bible that says that children should be pushed aside into a nursery while the adults attend the service.

Do yourself and your children a huge favor and get out from under the footstool that pastors have confined the next generation to because they are so ill-prepared for their sermon that any little peep from the audience will make them lose their train of thought.

To read previous post on this subject, click here, here, and here.

68 comments:

  1. I don't particularly like nurseries but that's ok cause we have a mothers room instead where the mom stays with the child(ren) when they are too restless!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have mixed feelings on nurseries. I appreciate them now, with the little one we have, because without them I would not have been able to ever attend church this entire year, well this entire 363 days due to our youngest's special needs. It would have been impossible. But, our oldest, he would have been fine without a nursery. He often accompanied us to church and, as an infant, slept right through it, and as a toddler was interested in what was happening.

    ReplyDelete
  3. yes, the children should stay with the congreagtion in the church. They may not learn much, but they definitely learn something worthwhile...Taking them out from the congreation is taking them out of church, because church IS the congregation :P

    Good job on your post :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Children will learn the same way the adults learn-through the Holy Spirit.

      Delete
  4. At our church ,the nursery is obviously an option, some moms go in there to just change a diaper or breastfeed, however some kids are "visitors", and most will begin to cry so they get taken back to their parents(I think this meaning the nursery helps the visitors ,so they can grasp the full message )you know not a ll parents know how to handle their kids...., but the nursery is Not mandatory, I work in the nursery a few times a month, so I like to be there with my son, It is a big church ,but a lot of the parents keep the babies with them but I don't think it is something to just absolutely hate, plus sick kids are not allowed,I am however against daycare: which leads to working moms topic, but let's leave that for another day.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My church does have a nursery, but parents are not required to leave their children there. The nurseries are available to parents who wish to utilize them. Infants are kept in a separate nursery from toddlers. There are always at least 2 nursery workers in each nursery, and we have pagers to keep contact with parents. Many people do keep their young children out in the church service, and our pastor has no problem with that. When my own children were young, they stayed in the nursery, but someone from my family (myself, my mother, or one of my sisters) nearly always stayed with them.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great post! I especially liked the part about pastors that tell other men's wives what to do.

    The following is in response to a few of the comments posted so far: I also like the mother/baby room system because it allows the mother to step out of the service with her child as needed while still allowing the child to hear the preaching and learn how to behave in church. I've been to Zsuzsanna's church, and it has that convenient feature. Although that system is the ideal, I don't mind going to a church with a nursery as long as I am not forced to use it. In most churches, mothers have the freedom to step out to the foyer or even to a nursing room if the baby gets fussy. Someone mentioned having two workers in the nursery as a safeguard. In the church I was attending, one of the workers would often have to step out to take a toddler to the restroom, leaving the other worker alone with the other kids. Some nurseries are better or worse than others, but they all have their drawbacks.

    ReplyDelete
  7. One more thing: At least with the pager system, the workers are letting you know if your baby is crying. At the church I was going to, the pastor said he wanted to move the nursery as far away from the auditorium as possible so parents so that parents wouldn't hear their baby crying. Most of the workers there are reluctant to ever go get a parent for fear of upsetting the pastor.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I haven't had but one pastor who didn't like the kids in the auditormium. My biggest irritation was from well meaning women who wanted to snatch my baby to the nursery. It seemed to bother some women to the extent they would keep looking at me during the service and then mention afterwards that hopefully next time they are in the nursery the baby would be in there. Or, on one given service, I might have a handful of women come up to me (even after the service started) to politely remind me there is a nursery for babies and young children to attend. I would hear from some women that babies were the devil's tool for keeping people distracted and not getting saved... whatever! It is so refreshing to see there are some people who make me feel like I'm not odd for wanting my kids with me in church. My youngest is now three and he gets the wiggles at times but he stays with me and my 6 and 8 yo never liked nursery (in fact my 6yo boy hated it so much that even at 18 months all I had to do to get him to be still at church was ask him if he wanted to go to the nursery, after that he would be perfectly still and quiet the rest of the sermon.. made me wonder why he dreaded the nursery so much) so why should a mom subject her children to someplace they don't like, and they don't go to children's church either; which I still have people remind me that there is one... I have used the nursery off and on between my 8 children, mostly because that was what everyone expected, but I finally stood up for my kids (and myself) and just said "no" :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. As a pastor of a church that has a church nursery, I thank you for bringing your view. People need to think about church nurseries beginning at, should we have them? I know of churches that have hired their nursery workers, one having a hindu woman in the nursery. I know of another that allowed a man that was so "suspicious" the local karate school wouldn't let him near their young students, but a church (that he had attended for all of 4 weeks) gladly let him watch the children.

    May I offer some advice for churches that do have nurseries? These are all based on personal experience.

    1) Do not require nursery use. If a parent wants to keep a child that in the service, that is fine. The pastor can encourage this as simply as making friendly remarks from the pulpit about a babbling baby. Welcome parents AND their children.

    2) Do not hire nursery workers. The best people to serve in the nursery are the mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, etc of the church. A "I'll take care of yours and next week you can care for mine" approach is better than hiring a sitter.

    3) Don't rely on a background check. A new church member should not be missing services anyway. Use only well known, mature women in the nursery

    4) Have a way for nursery workers and nursing mothers to still hear the service. For less than $100 a remote speaker can be set up.

    5) Set an age limit. At three, or at the most, five, a child needs to be in the service, learning to listen and learning about Christ (they understand more than you think). You do not need older kids or teens in the nursery.

    6) Put the nursery in a location where people will not be able to just hang around. For example, in our church, if someone is going downstairs, we know they are near the nursery...nothing else is there during service. This makes it very easy to spot potential perverts.

    7) Inform every nursery volunteer that no one other than volunteers and parents need be near the nursery during service. They should deal with (or have a man deal with) anyone else. Defend the children of the church.

    8) Don't babysit. Teach the Bible, sing songs. Even babies can learn from spiritual songs.

    9) Keep all toys clean and disinfected. Don't let the nursery become a dumping ground for people cleaning out their attics.

    10) The nursery is never an afterthought. The children are worth everything we can do for them.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Our church does have a nursery, but it is of the completely voluntary type, and our pastor loves to have kids in the sanctuary during the service. Mostly people take their kids into the nursery if they're having a tough time sitting/being quiet that particular day (particularly toddlers, 2-3 seems to be a rough age for sitting still) and a lot of the time they just stay with them, there are rarely more than 3 kids there. It's nice to have the option, but also nice for the kids to be in the service and have a pastor who actively wants them there.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Although we have a nursery at our church, it's almost never used...

    we do have atleast one child who goes in the nursery some of the time...but she doesn't come every week...

    the parents usually go in the nursery with their child anyways...I am glad about that, because I'm really good with kids who cry...

    I just havent been around many of them because our church is so small :)

    But I think it's best for them to stay in the service anyways :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Having a church nursery is a good option for some. Certainly parents shouldn't feel has if they must put their child in one.

    When my husband wasn't saved I took my 4 little children to church, he stayed home. I kept them in church with me ,but let me tell you it wasn't easy. My littlest who was 1 yr at the time & was very difficult in church. I would have to walk out often with him, leaving my other 3 children ALONE in the pews. So I started putting him in the nursery so I didn't have to leave the other 3 alone unsupervised. Well my 1 yr old didn't like the nursery.....he ran out the door screaming his way into the sanctuary. What I ended up doing was having all 4 of my kids go to children's church. My littlest was very content in that situation with his siblings near him. They all had opportunity to hear God's word and I did as well. Church nursery may not be for everyone but it certainly isn't a wrong or a bad choice.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for being so bold on this issue.I agree with you. When kids act up in church they don't need to be rewarded by getting to go play in the nursey.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm going to try not to flood your blog with comments, but it's just amazing to see others who think how we do. We were never okay with nurseries for the reasons you listed, but we are having the hardest time finding a church that both preaches the Bible, and isn't bothered by children in church. I don't see any examples in scripture of families being separated for worship! And our oldest does have special needs, which makes it even more important to me... and all the more difficult

    ReplyDelete
  15. Our church tells us that the babies do better in the nursery simply because they are noise-makers. It can be disruptive when the children (ages three and under) scream, cry, giggle, coo, and such. Alot of time, I fall back on my own, personal experiences. I don't even remember much about life at that age. Sometimes I don't know why people who no longer have nursery-age children are told to watch nursery (when and if they did not sign up for the job), but I guess there is that selflessness that gives the other mothers a break.

    ReplyDelete
  16. We do not use the nursery. We got roped into working in it though. Whenever it was our turn, my child would end up hurt by a few kids in particular, would get sick, then would want to go there next week instead of to the service with us (she usually sat just fine.)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I really enjoyed this article. We have been struggling with this topic with my 18 month old. We are in a new area and we checked out the nursery at two local churches. They were both very clean and made an effort to be very secure and they both separted kids by age baby, 1's, 2's, etc. However, I still felt uncomfortable. In both church nurseries there were men volunteers - 1 in each church. I do not like this. These men could be wonderful Godly men but it doesn't seem appropriate to me. In both churches I was never introduced to any of the nursery workers. We were just expected to drop off our son with strangers. In the second church, I offered to volunteer in the nursery to help out with my son. The let me - reluctantly. They thought my son needed to adjust to being without me and told me that. In the nursery, which was very clean, I have seen multiple kids dropped off with runny noses. The kids also inevitably put toys in their mouths and it gets passed around. There is no specific requirement to teach a short lesson or even sing little songs. It is simply a daycare. So sad. My husband and I have decided to stop taking him to the nursery.

    ReplyDelete
  18. First of all, let me begin by saying I have worked in our church nursery for 12 yrs. The whole point of nursery is so parents and other adults can be able to attend the service without interuptions and distractions. Kids that are old enough to sit in church - by all means - that is where they need to be. That age depends on the parent and the child. (Some kids are less active and more mature and some parents just don't have control over their kids.) They should be taught early to learn to sit quietly. BUT if someone has a infant/toddler or a child that they can't make behave in church should be in the nursery. I'm shocked at a previous post where her child was clearly disrupting the service when several people who where trying to be nice by reminding her there was a nursery available. I'm amazed at how selfish that for a supposed "christian" to not even care about others or keep someone from hearing God's word. Sometimes people...it's NOT just about you or your kids. Other people are there to learn.
    Second the pastors post earlier about not hiring people for the nursery. "The best people to serve in the nursery are the mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, etc of the church." I am from the community. I am a mother, sister, wife, etc. Just because I am hired, does not mean I can't do a good job. (Actually...I have parents that have told me, their child prefers me to their own parents.) So "volunteer" or "hired" doesn't make someone "better" at the job. The whole point of hired nursery is so that the kids get to know the people in there and they get to know the kids. The workers also know the routine, the rules about sick kids and etc. I am there EVERY week. Those kids (and their parents) know me as well as the other workers that are ALWAYS there. Our Nursery is clean. Toys are wiped down every Sunday. We don't allow sick kids. Since I'm there every week...I have NO problem telling a parent their sick child can't come. (A Volunteer usually is not very good at that nor are they good at knowing which cup or bottle belongs to the child.) Now if a church doesn't do a good job of finding someone, then that is their fault. No one is making them hire bad people. If a church had a "bad nursery" for whatever reason, then that wouldn't be a church that I would want to attend. They should care enough to make it RIGHT.
    Should you be required to take your child to nursery...absolutely not! BUT you should be required to make sure that they sit there and be respectful of others that are trying to get something out of the service!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen! I agree completely a nursery should be available for those who want to use it and it may be that this is their ONLY "quiet time" with the Lord. I was a single mom for years and didn't have any other opportunity to just sit and listen or read the Word excerpt at church while my kids were in the nursery. Yes kids should learn to sit and listen but is that a fight to have at church? I think not. Should they be read to, listening to music absolutely. Should they not be in the nursery while sick, heaven's no they should be at home healing. Nurseries should have guidelines for cleaning to keep kids as healthy as possible, but not all colds and illness come from nurseries or child care, have you tested the grocery carts lately?! I love that the author used scripture to justify not using a nursery, just goes to show how even Christians use the Word to push their own agenda, way to go! Pretty sure God's word says "love people". Thought I was going to enjoy this blog not any longer.

      Delete
    2. agree, and this is coming from a mom whos 2 yr old was just in the hospital with pneumonia. He got it from church or a shopping cart. My church nursery is great only women work it and if you hate nurseries then what about Sunday School? Theres usually only one teacher. I pray about everything before I do it or make a choice. I agree using Gods word to push their own agenda...ugh.

      Delete
    3. And my sma;; Independent Baptist Church has a "cry room" to go to if you want to take your child out if they are noisy, so you can both hear it.

      Delete
  19. Ok, this is a little bit different take on the nursery issue, but I had YEARS of experience both with my babies in one, and as a nursery worker. So I speak what I have seen and learned. There is no chapter & verse that requires a church nursery. On the contrary, over & over again, as you read about the assemblies of the OT, there were continuous directions for EVERYONE to assemble together, "mothers and little ones" included. What God wanted to say & do, He wanted ALL to partake in!

    When my 3 spaced-out-in-years children were babies, I spent WAY MORE time in a church nursery than in a service. Almost never was able to sit with my husband. There was pressure from some of the leadership that you didn't love God, if you were unwilling to do that. Regretfully, I succumbed to that false imposed guilt which was put on me, to my loss. The Martha & Mary story of the Bible clearly teaches that Jesus wants us at His feet, and that should NOT be taken away from someone, in the name of "serving." Well, enough of that, you get the point. In my church, nursery workers were drafted. Once in, no way out without disgrace. Really.

    I saw things go on in nurseries that I shake my head at today. Germs are the least of it, valid as that is. Yes, saliva and "bodily" fluids do get passed around. But anyone could work in the nursery, no background check. Young teenagers with no sense of safety! I once saw a small infant put in the center of a blanket, and swung around by a teenager! Unlabeled bottles can be mixed up, and babies go home in another baby's diaper. It's not monitored the way infant care has to be by each state that has daycare. The only rules are what each church decides, and knowing what I do now, I'd never put a baby in one. Sorry, that is how I feel.

    Let me close relating an incident that was truly sad...and wrong. I was in a service once, when a young mother with an older infant came in, sitting near the back. She looked so stressed & frazzled, she needed to be there. I did not recognize her, so either she was new there, or infrequent. Her baby started making some noise, but not even full fledged crying. She desperately tried to quiet her baby, when 2 ushers approached her, and unkindly asked her to step out, or take the baby to the nursery. This poor young mother WALKED OUT!!!! How tragic, how sad, how wrong.

    Oh, I could say more, but I will summarize by stating that many churches have made their own doctrine about nursery issues: a woman MUST serve in one or she doesn't love God, and babies MUST be sent there if at all possible, or...what? Or what? God won't talk and minister to His people? People, this isn't right!

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is the worst thing I have ever read. Keeping a disruptive child in a service while others are trying to learn and grow spiritual is not only selfish of that parent but completely inconsiderate as well. If your child can behave and be quiet then fine they can sit in there, no big deal but don't let your kid sit in the service and scream his head off because you're afraid he'll get sick because he was in the nursery for an hour. My son is in daycare 5 days a week and he goes to the church nursery on Sunday morning, sunday night and Wednesday night...no questions asked...am I forced to put him there, no, but out of respect and consideration for others I put him there. He is not there just to play, he is taught bible stories, and songs, and he plays with other kids which helps his social development further more. Yes kids pass germs, it happens, they get them everywhere and so do you as an adult. I know the bible says that the children are part of the church and should not be kept away from God, we have a television monitor set up in the nursery so that the workers can hear and see the music and sermons done and so can the children, we're not keeping them from God by putting them in an environment where they aren't forced to act like an adult. That's what's wrong with a lot of kids today is our society is forcing them to skip their childhood, they want kids to grow up too fast and that's why we have 12 year olds talking about having sex and babies and drugs instead of dealing with that sort of thing later in their life. Let kids be kids, if that means letting them play instead of forcing them to sit still and be quiet for an hour then so be it. In the long run, as my children grow up they will enjoy coming to church because it won't be tied to memories of having to sit there and do nothing for an hour as a child...they will dread coming if you continue to try to make them act like grown-ups. Get a grip people, it's a church nursery. As for the safety issue, like someone already said, it's not the churches fault if they hired sorry people to work in their nursery that allowed bad things to happen. Don't put down all church nurseries because of a few that had problems. We have 3 hired nursery workers that are also members of our church...they have specific guidelines that have to be followed. Older children and youth are not allowed in the nursery under any circumstances and proper safety measures are taken to make sure that our kids don't get hurt. Get over yourselves and stop being so inconsiderate of everybody else...it's not all about you and your kids. this is a pathetic argument, and if you want to use scriptures why not include the surrounded text...common example of people taking things in the bible out of context and using them to suit their wants and needs...another selfish act. This is why people don't go to church, this is why people don't like Christians at all, this is why this world is headed to Hell in a hand-basket because people get sick of hearing crap like this all over the place. Stop being so judgemental of everyone else and their church nurseries. If you don't want your kid in there, fine keep them with you, but at least have the common decency when they get loud or disruptive to take them to the nursery or step outside until the child calms down. Don't be rude. Last time I checked being a hindrance or stumbling block to someone hearing the word for the first time is a big no-no.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The people who are 'judgmental' are the ones who force parents to banish their kids with strangers in a nursery because it is such an inconvenience to them. All babies cry - get over it.

      A true Christian will welcome ALL family members to share a pew together, period.

      Delete
    2. I agree. The only person who is judgmental here is you. Children are told at very young age that Jesus loved the little children. If Jesus loved the little children so much, then why wouldn't he want the little children in his house worshipping HIM with the rest of his/her family. It is absurd, and I would never ever go to a church who had a nursery or one who did not encourage children to be CHILDREN in church. My daughter loves church. She sings and dances and praises with the rest of the church. She even makes her way up to the pulpit with the preacher who encourages her and picks her up. This is what Jesus would do. I see Christ's love through the eyes of my girls, not through the eyes of the judgmental old bat sitting in front of me who hates children.

      Delete
  21. What a great post! Though, I'm sorry for the present crisis in America where we send our children away in a most anti-family fashion.

    I hope you don't mind, but I reposted your blog at thepreservationist.net

    May God bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  22. “The education of children for God is the most important business done on earth. It is the one business for which the earth exists. To it, all politics, all war, all literature, all money-making, ought to be subordinated; and every parent, especially, ought to feel, every hour of the day, that, next to making his own calling and election sure, this is the end for which he is kept alive by God— this is his task on earth.” -Robert Dabney, 1820-1898

    http://thepreservationist.net/2011/03/19/educating-your-child/

    ReplyDelete
  23. What a heated subject, and it shouldn't be, even with differences of opinion. There's two issues being discussed here, and I'm not sure everyone gets that.

    There's the issue of, should children have to go to a church nursery, and two, should church members be required through imposed guilt to "serve" in one.

    Let's go to the scriptures....if a church nursery was MANDATED, we would certainly see that in the NT, and there is absolutely nothing there about it! NOTHING! Does that mean it's anti-scriptural? NO, but it clearly means that it is NOT MANDATED.

    Now the other issue addressed by some in this post is the pressure to "serve" in one. Yes, I put that in italics. Again, nowhere is it mandated in scripture that anyone MUST serve in one or they don't love God, or are somehow less committed than anyone else. But sadly, that IS how many churches operate. There is pressure on female members to go "serve" in the nursery, as if that is equivalent to serving God. IT ISN'T. NOWHERE in the Bible is it EVER said or even implied, that female members of the church must serve in a nursery!! Nurseries aren't even mentioned in the scriptures!

    I've been there, I've bought into that false (loose) "doctrine", and I dearly regret it to this day. I missed SO MUCH with my husband because I succumbed to that false guilt. I WANTED to serve God, and so I listened to others' demands about what that meant, instead of just listening to my Lord. It cost me in ways that will not/cannot be given this side of heaven. There were times that my husband would sing so beautifully, and church members would tell me how blessed they were. More often than not, it was never recorded so I could hear it...and it saddened me deeply. And I missed much more, because I was in there so often.

    Do not be judgmental if a church member says "no" to working in a church nursery. That is not your place. Never pressure anyone to "serve" in that way. Remember, serving the Lord is doing what HE tells you to do, outside of church as well as during a service.

    I'm not against church nurseries, but they are not mandated, and therefore not required of anyone to participate in...to put a baby there or to work in one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THANK YOU! So true!

      I will no longer even attend a church where I am pressured to leave my precious children in a nursery instead of having them with me to hear the Word!

      Delete
  24. I appreciate this post! I'm a pastors daughter and in the minority in the way that I think. Mostly, I won't be putting my daughter in the church nursery because she has a blood disorder that seriously lowers her immune system and ability to fight off illness and I also have an issue fighting off illnesses. So when one of us gets sick - the other will, and it's BAD news -- especially with a deployed husband!

    Do you have tips for keeping little ones calm and quiet during the service? My daughter is almost 8 months, active, alert and very curious! She doesn't sit still very often even when nursing, LOL!

    You can email me back at catherinehighley@gmail.com -- thanks! PS. My dad is a pastor in Arizona and I think your husband is as well? Neat and small world!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I am struggling right with keeping four kids under the age of 9 quiet in church. I am a pastor's wife and I don't like my child/children to be an interruption or distraction in church. Even when a baby is smiling and happy ..they ARE distracting.
    People will come up to me, "Oh, he was so cute in church, making the cutest faces!"
    We have a lot of older people who are hard of hearing and when a baby is crying those people cannot hear the preaching.
    I can't remember the last time I sat in church and could actually concentrate on my husband's sermon without distraction.
    Mother's need preaching too!
    So right now I am between a rock and a hard place: get dressed just to sit in the nursery EVERY service and leave the three older kids in the service, where other church members won't stop them from getting up to get water and go to the bathroom (and distracting folks with the movement)or to sit in church with a squirming baby and momma never hears one word of the service while she is concentrating on keeping the baby quiet and still.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand because I did that for 14 years. My kids were actually really good in service but training for 14 years how to sit still (since they had no understanding of the preaching) was tough. When I switched to a church where they had teachings in their age group, the first thing they said to me was, "Mom, I finally understand what they are talking about!" Now they are super excited about going and have learned about the bible so much quicker. I've never seen them so excited. I've peeked in on them and they do praise and worship and teaching but at their grade level of understanding. Pretty neat. ;) I teach the 4's and 5 year olds at their grade level. It's really fun.

      Delete
  26. I feel for the pastor's wife in this last post. When my 3 were little, my husband was on the worship team and also the pastor's right hand man. I NEVER got to sit with him, and managing the three was my job, every service. The church drafted me for the nursery, and even announced me as nursery HEAD without asking me in advance! I was in there constantly, never in a full service. Church services were a heavy burden, not what Jesus intended them to be!

    Churches ask for volunteers, then mandate service of some kind, even to the dentriment of an already stressed out mom. Someone has to say it's wrong! I'm not against voluntary nurseries, but do not force or pressure anyone to work in one. You don't know how much a mom might need to be in the services, and it is wrong to judge if they decline to "serve" in a nursery. Does our program come first, or people? What would Jesus say?
    And as for judging older ladies who decline to work in one, let them be! Believe me, patience with kids & babies lessens as one gets older, especially if they have already devoted years to childcare.

    I feel for any stressed out mom who needs a break during a service, but the way to handle it is to pray and ask God what to do. And He's not gonna tell you to demand some poor sister work in one, through you, against her will. As with monetary giving, "God loves a cheerful giver", in serving too. Another scripture says to serve the Lord with gladness. The Lord is well able to speak to hearts about different things; He doesn't need anyone to use guilt to get anyone in the church to do a thing. We serve God, not man.

    OK, so I'm ranting here, but I feel strongly about this. Have your church nurseries, that's fine, but don't force anyone to work in one.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Like so many others, I really appreciate this post. It is such a comfort to know we are not alone. We have our own reasons for keeping our kids with us in church (primarily that the nursery won't (can't?) back us up with character discipline). It doesn't really matter what our reasons are, the point is, it is OUR discretion whether or not our children go to the nursery. Recently this has caused static in our Sunday school class. We were told that some people were disrupted by our babbling baby that we had been trying desperately to train (without any guidance from experienced believers-because no one does this). Okay, fine. So we doubled our efforts and now our 12-month-old can remain completely still and quiet for close to an hour. If she does cry out, I take her out immediately and continue the training in another room so she won't disturb others. We thought we had fixed the problem as it was put to us.

    Now we're being told that no children are allowed to stay with us in our particular class, regardless of how well behaved. We've had people send us articles against Family Integrated Churches as if we are demanding our church shift to that model, which we are decidedly not. We suddenly find ourselves in a lonely position. We do not agree with all of the positions of the FIC movement. We do not think that Scripture absolutely forbids church nurseries. But nor do we think nurseries should be mandated. What Scripture DOES mandate is that parents take responsibility to train up their children. And for us, that means forgoing the nursery.

    Before I wrap this up I want to make two points: First, some have accused parents who keep babbling children in church of selfishness, as if it's somehow fun for a parent struggling to keep an unruly child quiet amid disapproving glares. For many parents, keeping a child in church is a strong conviction and a matter of obeying the Lord. At the same time a few generations have passed since keeping kids in church was the cultural norm, so there is precious little guidance on how to train kids to sit through church quietly. So many of their efforts are trial and error. They don't set out to disturb you, on the contrary, they're trying desperately not to. Please show some grace as parents figure this out.

    My second point is this: I have seen so many comments/articles accusing families that keep their kids out of nursery of dividing the church because of their unwillingness to yield. In our experience the division has been initiated on the other side. We've done our best to be sensitive to the wishes of our brothers and sisters who think differently. This issue has not caused us to storm off; on the contrary, we have made every effort to preserve unity. We are now essentially being asked to leave in spite of our efforts.

    To any believers who read this please pray for me a heart that forgives and gives preference in spite of the hurt and a heart that follows the leadership of my husband as he makes some tough decisions about our situation.

    ReplyDelete
  28. i agree with this one hundred percent and as a man it is strange to say it but i want this time with my baby girl!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Do what is biblically sound. Who do you serve man or Jesus Christ?

    ReplyDelete
  30. This is a great article. I attend a Primitive Baptist church where we believe that Jesus commands Matthew 19:14 and they should be as much involved in the hearing of God's Word as we are. Apart from the fact that it is safest when the parents are responsible for their children, not caretakers, children often get almost little to know teaching of God's Word in these daycares. They seem to be just places to shuffle kids off to and not to do what Deuteronomy 6:6-7 and Ephesians 6:4 commands us to do.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I have four kids, and all have sat in worship services from a week or two old. They were taken out if they cried for more than 15 seconds until they calmed. They were taken to the nursery to be changed or fed. Otherwise, they were in the pew beside me and taught to be quiet--no, it wasn't easy, but it is necessary and it doesn't last forever. I do not agree with when children act up, to take them out to be rewarded by playing in the nursery. What is that teaching them?

    ReplyDelete
  32. I am really struggling with this issue at my church. I have had horrible experiences with my church's nursery and learned with my last 2 kids that I cannot trust many of our church nursery workers. My children were learning bad habits and the workers directly went against simple requests such as please don't give my child snacks. I want my kids to eat healthy and was extremely frustrated with them being stuffed with junk food and twice was pulled from the service because my little one was choking on stuff they should never had been given at their age.

    Another example: The nursery worker was allowing my child to stand on a chair and run the sink full blast splashing water all over the walls, floor, and she was soaked. When I came to pick up my child I was shocked and got her off the chair and was starting to talk to her about why we don't do this. The nursery worker interrupted me and told my girl I was a "mean, mean Mommy". That has been months in the past and just one simple phrase hurts so much and is so hard to teach my child not to repeat.

    We adopted our first two kids and now I have a newborn and am struggling with the fact that our church provides no private place for breastfeeding and allows men to work in the nursery. I have also been attacked by several other ladies in the church that are against breastfeeding. The head of our nursery even told me she thinks it is disgusting to breastfeed baby boys. I do not leave my children with anyone any more. I am finding that if I sit in the nursery I can't even hear the service because the workers just sit back there and talk and the toys are too loud. My baby used to do well in the service, but now had started walking and refuses to sit for any length of time. I feel like it is such a waste to go to church and then end up in the nursery and not hear the service every time. Plus my little one keeps getting sick from all the inconsiderate people that come to the nursery knowing they are sick. Then my little ones get hit and picked on by an older kids and I am so frustrated. We live in a rural community and going to another church is not a possibility.

    Any advice???

    ReplyDelete
  33. I find it interesting that the whole subject of church nurseries is such a matter of contention. Sometimes
    we can't see the forest for the trees. Church nurseries are not even mentioned in the Bible, anywhere. If the Lord had mandates concerning church nurseries, there would be something to quote, chapter & verse. Jesus talked about all sorts of things, but the closest thing to establishing a "policy" was in the story (NOT parable, but real life), of Martha & Mary. It's a familiar story so I won't re-tell it here. But Jesus clearly stated that the BEST thing to do was NOT "service", but sitting at His feet! Can't get around that, people. Those who want children & babies out of a service so much that adults who WANT to be in a service to receive from the Lord, CAN'T be...well, it's scripturally wrong! Jesus said that the one who wants to sit at his feet has chosen the better part, which would not be taken away. So, sisters, if you are being pressured into giving up your worship/word time to "serve" in a nursery, know this...it's manipulation for convenience sake. Jesus said that He would not take that away from you...so it is people who are doing so. The Lord is not requiring that of you.
    No matter anyone's personal feelings, church nurseries are NOT mandated by the Lord. So therefore, babies are not mandated to be shoved off into one during a service, and dear Christian ladies are not mandated to sacrifice their worship/word time to "serve" in one. So-called "serving" men never takes precedence over time to sit at Jesus' feet. It is our relationship with the Lord that always, always, comes first.
    If a church wants a nursery available, fine. There's no chapter/verse forbidding it, either. But lay aside all
    mandates concerning one. There is no authority from the Bible to hold babies/nursery workers to ANY mandate. Period.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I understand that you don't agree with the idea of churches separating the children into nurseries, however saying you "hate" church nurseries strikes me as unkind and harsh. It is a non-essential issue not relating to salvation so I would say it falls into the area of preference. You could say the same thing for musical instruments, using pews, singing x number of songs, how often to have the Lord's Table, and so forth. Not everything we do in service today is explicitly listed in the Bible.
    As a professing Christian, showing grace would be beneficial for those who may not feel so opinionated about an issue such as churches using nurseries. I don't put my toddler in the nursery so I'm not biased. However, our church runs our nurseries very well. No one "has to" utilize our nursery. I know of no congregation that would kick a baby out of service if the mom desired to keep her baby with her. If they do, then they are wrong. Also, not all churches run nurseries the same! As far as "child molesters" (Good grief!!!) Here are the safeguards our church takes:
    Only church members may serve in children's ministry.
    In any children's class (including nursery classes) there MUST be at least TWO nursery workers for accountability and assistance.
    No males may serve in the nursery, unless accompanied by their wife.
    No males may change diapers.
    So as far as creepy molesters, the chance would be pretty slim considering all workers are mostly women or married couples, and church members. As far as illness, my son stays with me during church, however, he still manages to catch a cold about once per month. I have also left him in the nursery once or twice and he did not get sick. Regardless, I'm on the fence as to whether or not churches should have nurseries, but I would temper my opinion a bit and not turn up my nose at those congregations who think it is a good idea. I think there is nothing wrong with a "baby room" with mothers or nursing mothers with babies who wish to remain in service who would like some separation, but don't want to drop off their small children. We have a "cry room" for mothers who don't wish to keep their screaming children in service. It is behind sound proof glass and they can still see/hear the sermon. I do believe at a certain age children can be trained to sit quietly in church, so I don't think (nor does my church think) that children MUST all be carted off to a class away from parents. I think ideally children should be in service, but if the parents wish, they also benefit from being in an age-appropriate class. I agree that it puts a heavy burden on all the ladies in the church who serve week after week (we have a rotation), but they all gladly serve, even if it means they must miss a sermon here or there. It is not forced upon anyone. We have A LOT of small children and it would definitely be a big ruckus if they were ALL kept in service. Squirming and crying and fussing, for sure. Should that be the norm? Maybe... I don't think keeping children in the service is "wrong" at all. But yes, it does impede the ability to hear the teaching. So, I may have my opinions as well, and we Christians should make biblically-informed decisions, but you may want to tone down the harshness of your message, especially about churches "drawing freaks like moths to light". Do you not want sinners to attend your church and possibly hear the gospel? What is your definition of a "freak", someone different than you? Or someone who looks or acts different, or maybe someone who isn't saved yet? Our church welcomes all visitors who wish to come. Were we not all "children of wrath" and "enemies of God" before salvation? I digress. The note at the bottom of this comment publisher says "your kindly worded comments are welcome, the rest will be deleted", should not Christian blog posts be kindly worded as well (even if they are opinionated)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get what you are trying to say but your church-IF it is actually following all the rules you stated-is VASTLY in the minority. Only wealthier-read larger-churches are going to have that many people and member and are going to institute those rules. A lot of the smaller or medium churches are going to relax even their stated rules-case in point-asking someone who is not a member but seems trustworthy to work in the nursery-or allowing someone who doesn't have their police check but is "going to get one" to work there. By the way-I notice your church does not require police checks??? I have seen utterly horrific things happen in otherwise wonderful and lovely churches. I get that I am not perfect and even I cannot perfectly witness to my children but God has given into my care. I hate this mentality that children are a nuisance "at certain times." I can worship God with my whole heart while my child cries, makes noise etc. Children used to be seen as assets-now most parents can't wait to get them out the door. Are you really so certain your nursery is above reproach? Everyone has secrets. I think you'd find pretty readily that you are more concerned for your own children than someone else is. You'd probably be shocked how many of them deigned to sit down with your kids and play because their outfits would be wrecked. By how many of the kids are eating someone else's spilled snacks off the floor, by how many of them are checking their phones instead speaking Christ into the lives of your children. Go try a few more church nurseries before you judge the writer of this blog. I have been to nearly every church in my large city and every nursery I have seen was at best a bad dream and at worst a nightmare.

      Delete
    2. Furthermore-be careful you see clearly that society is pushing for the commercialization of children and finds every method it can for supporting this position. The idea that children's noise is a nuisance and that it is healthy for children to be so socialized-so segmented into their own age and slot is a relatively new one. Churches should be wary that nurseries are for the right reasons and not for some nefarious North American view that kids should be taken from their parents and slotted into their spot as soon as possible. North American society will suffer for this and for the watering down of children and society that will occur as a result. Be wary-try to see a little more clearly who is trying to control the world and with what means they work. Satan is working to find chinks in our armour within our own churches to take us down.

      We need to return to a proper definition of family. Homeschooled children-children who stay with they own, loving parents-they are more secure, creative and pull away less from their parents. This obviously isn't always possible-BUT-it should be the ideal we strive for as Christians. It would have been MUCH harder for those gathered around Jesus outside to hear Him speak period-much less with children in their midst. Stop looking for the church to so thoroughly do all you work for you!!! Church at one time did not have to be this polished genteel experience it is!! A lot of that came about as a result of the feminization of the church during both the war and the time of Queen Victoria.

      We are a bunch of narcissists here in North America who have very little idea how to have a personal authentic church experience. Perhaps we need a little shaking up-a little baby drool or babble. I would be happy to worship God in a real way without over emotional music and ridiculous production at the front of the church-without being able to hear every word the pastor said I could still worship God-especially with the wonderful gift of children he gave me sitting beside me.

      Freaks exist-stop being so silly-you know aren't nearly as enlightened as you have written here-even if you wish you were. Of course we want sinner to come to Christ-but tell me this-should I prioritize their spiritual need OVER or EQUAL to the children God gave ME to raise? Go back and read Proverbs a few hundred more times until the real message sinks in please . I'm afraid our Oprah culture has permeated a little too far in to your posting for me.

      Delete
  35. We have to think it through as far as parents starting to come to a church with their children. Sometimes those people aren't even saved. The press has smeared Christians and religious people over & over again, and seekers come into our churches with fears. If we demand that they put their child in a church nursery, we are really demanding that they trust us. I think it's a lot to ask. I was in a service years ago, where a frazzled mom came in with her agitated toddler. I had never seen her before. Two ushers went up to her and asked that she take her child to the nursery. She walked out instead. I wonder the story there..but I don't blame her for being so hesitant.
    Years ago, I was at a church party at a home with a pool. There was a young man, with a record of sexual abuse towards children, who was present. The pastor & his wife didn't ask him to leave, (in the name of Christianity). It was a private home of a church member, and they had the right. That was dangerously foolhardy. I heard this a day or two later; I had only seen this man a couple of times and had no idea.
    And I have seen teenagers drafted into working church nurseries who had no business being in there, with things they did. (An example: a teen put a baby in a blanket, and swung the infant around, thinking it was fun for the baby!) There is no monitoring of workers in almost all church nurseries. It is an open door for potential harm, intentional or unintentional. That does not mean bad things do happen, but it means there is no guarantee. I do not blame any parent for not putting their child in one. If you want to make a nursery available, guarantee it's a safe haven, but never demand parents release their child into one.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I like nurseries. I can't go to church and learn and have a heart or attitude of worship when I'm corralling little kids the whole time. I trust our current nursery workers in our church. To each his own, but I'm all for child care when little ones are too little to pay attention during the sermon. So, I respectfully disagree with this post.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I love my church nursery and the entire children's ministry. As a parent of a one year old, I appreciate that fact that while I am being fed by my pastor I can focus. At the same time, my child is playing, being sung to or being rocked to sleep. I love the fact that God has called volunteers to serve these precious kids. They want to provide this service for families and are being used by Him. Its a very cool opportunity. I also love our childrens ministry because the lessons plans are geared toward the appropriate age group. Jesus taught in parables, because that's what the people understood. I think age-appropriate lesson plans truly penetrate the hearts of kids and allows real growth. If your children's ministry is unclean, unorganized and more like babysitting, then yes, that's a problem. But a church should strive for better and reach EVERY person for Christ. I'm thankful I attend a church that does that.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I totally agree. My husband and I attended a church where the children were to be put in the nursery and we were to go back into the sanctuary. Parents were not to allowed to stay in the nursery with their children. My first child was only around 3 months old at the time and we were called out in the middle of the service because he cooed. The pastor told us from the pulpit to, "get that baby out of here." I went to the nursery with him, and was only allowed to stay while I nursed him. I'm not going to lie...I nursed him for a while because I wouldn't leave him and tried to linger until the service was over. We were told later that the nursery worker was an RN and capable of taking care of a baby. Well, not my baby. I didn't know who she was or if she was a kind person or not. I NEVER leave my children with anyone except a few family members. I think you stated it best when you wrote that people take more caution with their wallet than their children.

    Oh, we never went back to that church.

    Found your blog today. Love what you have to say! :o)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Have you tried to do a search on the history of church nurseries, as in when did they first appear and where? I'm interested in that question. Besides the impact they make on children, they also train people to view children as a potential distraction in church instead of a blessing. We insulate our people from children on purpose so they can "enjoy" their sermon. The irony is that children are segregated to another room so that parents can hear a sermon on being better parents. thenakedtruth@charter.net (It is used for a book dealing with the impact clothing has on gender identities)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never done a study, but it would be difficult to do. One thing is certain: church nurseries are never mentioned anywhere in Scripture; they are neither mandated nor forbidden. I read through these posts in support of nurseries, and most are very idealistic. Meaning, there are expressions of what some feel a church nursery should be, not actual descriptions of how most are. Do parents really believe that every church worker working with babies/kids is really "called" and happy about it? NOT TRUE. I worked enough church nurseries to know that many in there have been drafted into it, not called by the Lord. Guilt & manipulation is used as a way of enlisting helpers into it. I know this, and I believe what I do today, that it is very very wrong to mandate the whole practice. Better keep it voluntary, or it is hurting people. I once attended a church for 4 straight Sundays in a row; no evening or mid-week services. No one even knew me! I hadn't even been to a church fellowship & talked to anyone. Yet the lady in charge of the nursery asked me to help out! I have a quiet disposition, am a mother/now grandmother, but that does not mean I am "called" by the Lord to work in one! You can't go by appearances. No one can see some physical limitations which make lifting babies difficult for me; no one would know that I have worked with children in a full-time day job, sometimes 9-10 hours a day, and sometimes babysit my grandson. That come weekends, I would need a break! That's why pressuring ladies to work in one is wrong. A simple "no" should be sufficient, but it usually isn't. Anyone reading this, if you want a church nursery, PLEASE keep it optional. No mother should be forced to put her baby back in one, and no lady should be pressured to work in one.

      Delete
    2. I feel extremely called to work with children whether it's babies in the nursery, toddlers, kids, or teens. Because my nursery workers and childrens church workers had a huge impact on my life positively all growing up, I feel it's a privilege to serve and am very excited about it. I volunteered and no one has to ask me. It's very much a calling to minister to these kids and I know what it's like to have benefited from it. No one is forced at my church to do these ministries nor is anyone paid. It's completely out of love for these kids and loving to share Christ with them.

      Delete
  40. PS: you're not a stay at home mom any more than I'm a stay at the office dad. You are a home maker.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I'm so sorry you had a bad nursery experience. I remember going to the church nursery as a child and it was lovely. The women sang church songs to us! It was an age appropriate sermon. And our nursery only allowed babies and pre-school age kids.

    ReplyDelete
  42. i totally agree with you. Nurseries are not something i wanted ever to do with my children, although i did a bit with my first as i knew all the ladies in there :) - even so, he would cry and i would just take him because i couldn't stand that. In other churches we've been at (we've moved a lot) nurseries have been staffed by people we just don't know. And that gives me pause. Because we have been at churches where my friend's dad was a molester. So, i know there are wolves among the sheep. And if i'm not comfortable sending my children there, there shouldn't be extra pressure like "asking me to help them design it" or not allowing me to serve in any capacity in the church unless i "show i support church leadership" by putting my children in the nursery and youth group. If i don't trust you enough to do it, trying to force me to do it won't make me trust you more. I am so grateful that i have an awesome husband who sided with me when the pastor tried to take him aside and get him to "tune up his recalcitrant wife - you know how women can be" - and who allowed me to do what i needed to do to be the responsible mother i want to be to my children. So so so so glad God got us out of that town and church!

    ReplyDelete
  43. I grew up in church and know how wonderful nurseries, sunday schools, and children church was for me. It made a huuuuge impact because lessons were taught at my understanding, at my level. Often, the issues of my age were addressed as I grew up. Also, when nursery is handled properly, it's a huuuuge blessing. I do nursery often in my church. We have been going to this church for one year and my kids have gotten sick only one time and for a very brief amount of time. We always, always wash all blankets and sanitize every toy after every service. When done correctly, kids stay healthy. I've never given a wrong bottle to a kid and kids are put in age appropriate classes where no big kids can hurt little ones. Being a kid that grew up in church and stayed faithful to Him, I had all those blessings you speak against and am serving God with my whole heart. I think some battles just aren't worth fighting. If done correctly and with a biblical curriculum, kids can really learn about Christ and grow. I love serving in the kids ministry at New Heights in Chandler. I've been there one year now, previously at The Door for 14 years. Huge difference in my life and not to mention, all the kids are incredibly healthy there and don't spread around sicknesses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your response to the author of this blog. I was a nursery worker for many years. Not all of us are predator's, but caring god fearing Christians. I basically came on line to see what was being said about nurseries. This issue just came up in our church yesterday. We just recently rebuilt our church home after a fire. Unfortunately a nursery was not included in the blueprints. We have been out and worshiping at a remote location for sometime, so the newness hasn't worn off. An announcement was made about church etiquette and eating in the sanctuary. Someone felt the need to add to what our pastor said about sanctuary etiquette(eating in the main hall). Some of the mothers got offended. I see their point because even though we have a brand new church, there are mothers of toddlers and babies that have to feed them snacks. You can't expect a child to sit for hours without something(we aren't talking about bottles :)) I hope this will not pull my church apart. I wanted to give my minister a proposal for a nursery. I would be willing to work there, to give back as you mention. I really enjoy working with that age group and I have several nieces & nephews.
      I was researching it, there is a lot entailed in setting nursery up. I pray we can come up with a solution or we are going to lose a lot of the young members.

      Delete
  44. I like to be with my child everywhere I go. Simple.
    I went to an independent Baptist Church for the first time in my life last year, and was forced to surrender my children into the nursery on my first visit. I felt VERY uncomfortable. And I was scolded by the women each time I ran out to check on my children during the service. Whenever someone does keep their children in the main service, you can see how much it's hated by the parishioners every time the child even shifts in their seat. Children should not be separated from their parents, nor from the main service. I don't see in the NT where Jesus was giving His sermon, and a disciple on roster duty was dumbing one down for children around the corner somewhere away from the multitudes to give the parents a break....

    ReplyDelete
  45. This is a very meaningful article for me. Nurseries are the main issue involved in my husband and I (both believers from Christian families) staying out of church right now with our two sons. (although we still make it a priority to fellowship with other believers) It seems nearly impossible in Ontario (we are from Kitchener) to find Baptist churches where we can keep our children with us during the service and not hand them off to strangers, acquaintances etc. We would never hand our children off to these same people to go out on a date-so why would we do this on a Sunday morning? These people may be wonderful (or as I experienced they may NOT) but I still feel that at their young impressionable age the children should be with us or their grandparents (those who have a stake in their upbringing) and that they should be welcome to experience church together with us rather than the once a week chaos that seems to embody most of the nurseries I have seen or been involved in. I am not Catholic (although I have played organ and piano at Catholic churches many times) but I think they really have a healthy take where children are concerned. Very few seem to have nurseries. They allow the families to worship together as a whole.

    ReplyDelete
  46. So basically you're judging those who use nurseries. Oh, ok. I get it. I'm a terrible mom if I expose my kids to germ. Eeks. Guess I better not schedule those playdates. And oh my goodness, I'm am a backslidden Christian if I put my children in the nursery so I can actually hear the sermon. And just think of how much I'm damaging my precious children's spiritual well being. I mean, they may actually hear Bible stories in there. They may even pray over their snack and sing Jesus Loves Me. Such conviction. God bless my heathen soul.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I have been really shocked to read all of these posts of people's personal experiences with a church nursery. I feel very sad for all of these people who could not think for themselves about their own children. You are voluntarily going to church why in the world would someone feel like they "had" to use the nursery. How absurd! Be respectful of others but only you can know what is best for your child/ren. A church nursery should only be an option if you want to use it and if you do use it why are you feeling guilty? I am also having a hard time with all the posts about people not able to worship if children interrupt the service. Sunday service is not the "only" time you are at Jesus's feet. If you worked in the nursery get the CD or tape of the service and listen to it when you can. Worship the Lord always and your children will learn it is important not just in a room with a bunch of other people.

    ReplyDelete
  48. My church is family oriented. I have NO problem with that but I think there should be an option for nursery. If you want your kids in with you great that's fine and if you want to utilize the nursery great that is fine too. However, at my church they only have nursery for 1-3 year olds and the child must be 1 year and walking solid before they will be welcomed in the nursery. Then as soon as they turn 4 they are kicked out. They only had two babies in the church (mine and another who turned one over the summer) this past year. They saw no need to have an infant nursery because the other mom planned to keep her little one in the service. I believe if you have even one child there is a need.

    My child is over a year and still not walking so she is still not welcomed to stay in the nursery. :-( She is not even close to walking. She just started cruising furniture a few weeks ago and hasn't even given trying to stand alone any thought so it will probably be at least another couple of months before she is walking well enough to be in there. I can count on my hands the number of times I have been able to listen to the service in the past year because I have had to leave with the baby. It is to the point I don't even want to go to church until she is able to be in the nursery because I am not going to be able to learn anything. She is constantly on the go and very talkative and doesn't want to be held. They have a "cry" room but it is paper thin so you can still hear the baby chattering in the service, no air conditioning and very hot-to the point it makes me sick staying in there for more than a few minutes. and the speaker doesn't work so you really cannot hear anything. I have told multiple people that I am in need of a nursery but have been told by multiple leaders that there is no need for an infant nursery and they were not even going to consider having one.

    There is Sunday night service with no nursery for any age. They have nursery on Wed but it is for Awana workers only and I have been told that my kids are not welcomed unless I am an Awana worker. So we cannot go to the Wednesday night service. The women's group has no nursery provided either.

    I am at a loss right now.

    If the church is going to be taking a family service approach please make sure your mommas and daddies are being spiritually fed.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Thank you for your work!! We have stopped going to our local church because we are not willing to hand our son off to someone we don't really know!! We wan't to be there when someone is telling our young son about GOD. Experiences when you are a small child last a lifetime!!! We believe the family should be together in such a very important time!!!! I will now do the research to find a better choice for us. Glad to know we are not alone!!! Thank you to you and your family!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you want to be there when someone is telling your son about God, perhaps you should be a volunteer in the nursery so you can be there very Sunday with your son. It will benefit the nursery since you'll be there to take care of him, and will allow you to experience what your son is being taught. Just a thought.

      Delete
  50. Our old church had a nursery but never attempted to staff it. I started spending so much time sitting in the nursery watching the sermon piped in on the TV with my 2 year old, I decided I would just stay home and watch sermons on TV. Why bother getting myself and my daughter dressed up, drive 30 minutes, sit in the sanctuary for 10 minutes and then half to go in the room al by myself? Never got any fellowship with other adults, or got to meet new people. I don't see why we couldn't just take out a couple of the back pews and bring in the toys from the nursery into the sanctuary in full few of the parents and other congregation members. Anyone hard of hearing could sit towards the front, and the parents could still enjoy the sermon and come TOGETHER to worship.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Children should be taken OUT of the church until they very much learn to behave. I'll bet when Jesus welcomed the children over, the kids didn't bounce off of people and scream like today's undisciplined lot do. Kids aren't kids today, the majority of them act like feral animals. Parents seem to think no one else around them matters except their own lot, almost as if their own kids were the very messiah and we should all worship them. There has to be a line of respect where parents actually care about allowing children to wreck a personal testimony or chant Harry Potter over bible study (I've seen this happen). Where does the line get drawn? Would the same parents refrain from letting their brats ruin someone's funeral? Or has this national sense of parental entitlement no shame? Start being firm with your children, because as this generation is heading, I despair of how they're going to look after their elders when the time comes. The Word of God is sacred, and letting kids 'Do What Thou Wilt' constantly is a satanic mindframe, one you wouldn't catch me teaching MY kids. There is a time and place for letting children run RIOT. Church is NOT that place.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I 100% disagreed with this from the time I was in my late teens until recently. What changed? I volunteered for the children's ministry. The reasons were purely selfish. My son never had issues being left “with his friends to play.” But, when my daughter started freaking out about nursery, we (my wife and I) decided we could kill two birds with one stone. We could volunteer and help the church while getting our daughter used to the nursery. The warning signs should have been clear starting with the email group signup, the pre-service + mid-week prayer meetings and 6 page questionnaire/background check. This was not volunteering to help my church. It was signing up to run a day-care. And, that’s the way parents treated it. The reason we were “helping” was the same reason others were dumping their kids. They want a day care for 1.5 hours a week using spiritual enlightenment as an excuse to justify it.

    Now I am so discouraged about it, I want to switch churches. We travel a lot. My wife runs a multi-million dollar home business while homeschooling and I work 60 hours/week. We have months which we only attend one time due to our schedule, and that day is usually a nursery day for us. As I started to get really discouraged about this, I realized: God is showing me how selfish I was to begin with. Several months ago we finally got an opportunity to attend and it was NOT a volunteer that day. We had a widow friend of ours with us that Sunday and her 3 misbehaving kids. She’s being told by her “Christian Psychiatrist” that physical discipline of any kind is abusive/wrong and guess what: it shows! It so happened on that day, the children’s ministries were all cancelled. For the first time maybe ever, we sat thru a service with both our kids. Both behaved OK for a 3 and 6 year old. Every parent picks their battles. From a young age we picked behavior battles in more formal settings like restaurants, plays, shows etc. We did it because we enjoyed those things and wanted them to be with us. Why should church service be any different? If I’m honest with myself, I did not put them in nursery for their own benefit, but rather for mine. And while they were behaved better than my widow friend’s kids, they could be better. Now I want nothing more than to teach them better behavior in this setting. I remember being young and having to sit thru services. It was mostly boring. It was long. I would count pages in a hymnal or anything to pass the time. But, it taught me a lot about patience and how to behave in public even if you’re not interested in what’s going on. Kids today are being taught that if something doesn’t interest them, they move on. And we wonder why so many children get diagnosed with ADD!

    Anyway, I came to this post because I’m frustrated. I believe kids should have Sunday school. It’s a time where things are brought more to their level. But they should also be in church with their families and if they learn nothing else, they learn how to be patient and behave. I’m frustrated because no churches do a formal Sunday school + a morning service anymore. I’m frustrated because I’m now roped into my church’s system and feel like I can’t back out without offence people and getting the “you’re just being selfish” or “you’re just too busy to help your church” lectures. And, after some conversations with my wife I don’t think she agrees with me much. She’s very pro-children’s ministries. She says “I got so much out of this when I was young” and “I am saved today because of it” etc. But I am so sick of this system. I HATE when people drop off their sick kids! How selfish is that? Or the horribly undisciplined kid who runs amuck. I hate HATE nursery! I hate my options. I hate that both me and my children are missing out. And I hate seeing the ugliness first hand of all the terrible parents who’s kids are so badly behaved. I just want to stop going to church at all. What’s the point? Sorry for the long post… :/

    ReplyDelete
  53. 1) Train up a child….. Kids need to hear God’s word. No nursery.
    2) God made dirt; Dirt don’t hurt. Germs are how we create immune systems. Over-sanitizing leads to super-bugs. (and do they think the kids are not exposed in the main congregation?)

    ReplyDelete
  54. You ma'am are a moron

    ReplyDelete

Your KINDLY WORDED, constructive comments are welcome, whether or not they express a differing opinion. All others will be deleted without second thought.