GUEST POST – A Place Where Runny Noses Are Welcome and Boo Boos Get Band-Aids

…was a phrase I overheard this week and it has stuck in my mind like sticky fingerprints on a doorknob. While echoing the simplicity of a child’s heart, one parent completely wrapped up what we are all about in the nursery. We love kids where they are at and care what they care about while connecting them to God and others AND, here’s the best part, our families understand that!  But sometimes, in the everyday hustle and bustle of ministry, I can forget it.

It’s easy while working with the littlest ones to falsely believe all you do is change diapers and wipe noses. It’s easy to think that those tasks are nothing more than grunt work to fuel the “real ministries” going on elsewhere. I would be lying if I told you sometimes I hadn’t thought “all the kids in my ministry are capable of is drooling.  What on earth could I possibly teach them that has any eternal significance at all?” But I was wrong. Here’s why.

Jesus said in Matthew 10:42 that if we give so much as a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name it is an act of worshiping God. Speaking to the very heart of the Gospel, the nursery lays the foundation of trust that says to children and their parents “In Jesus’ name, I love you and you are accepted here.”

Remember, with every changed diaper, soiled tissue and Elmo band-aid we are saying, in very real terms, “Jesus loves you baby.”  And that is a message that will echo into eternity.

Crystal Hansen is the Nursery Coordinator at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA.

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