I know from personal experience, the dread of asking people to serve in the nursery. It usually goes something like this:
“So, um…we are trying to get a good group of people to be in the nursery during church. We try to get enough people so we can have a large rotation, and um, right now we have an every 3 month rotation going, and our goal is that people will only have to serve quarterly. So, yeah, it’s not a huge commitment, and would you like to do that? You can trade with people if a certain date doesn’t work for you and stuff.”
Serving in that role led me to a deep conviction of how I was speaking of the little ones in our church. It devalued the importance of the ministry. After much prayer, I switched my pitch.
“Hi! I’m signing people up for nursery duty. Right now we have a rotation of about every 3 months, but I’m looking to reduce that to maybe once every 2 months so that we have people who really want to be there, and to give more consistency to the little ones so it’s not always a new face. It makes the drop offs a bit less scary for them. We really want to serve them in a way we believe Jesus would serve them. I’m really looking for a core group of people who just adore kids, so we can give the freedom to say “no” to those who feel called to other areas of the church, and free them up for that.
Just so you know, the nursery ministry is one of the most important ministries in the church. Not only do you get a chance to really show them how much Jesus loves them, but you give the parents a much needed rest, and a chance to refuel and just spend some time in the Word and in worship after a hard week with little sleep and lots of stress. This ministry is vital to so many of the families who go here. I don’t want you to say yes right now, but I’d love if you would pray about it, and I’ll check in with you next week to see if this is something that you’d like to do.”
People were much more willing to sign up when they saw the value. The fact of the matter is, the “why” behind anything we do holds more weight than anything. We will make the time if we have the “why.”
This brings me to my current pitch.
There are some women in your church who are drowning. They are drowning in what the world says they should be. They are drowning in trying to do all the things they think God expects of them. They are drowning in perfectionism. They are drowning in their husband’s expectations, and their own expectations, and their kids’ teachers and coaches expectations, and their bosses’ expectations.
They feel stretched thin. They don’t know how much longer they can hang on.
They need some help. Don’t worry. You don’t have to rescue them. Their problems will not be plopped on your shoulders. Here’s what they need. It’s ridiculously simple. They need a friend. They need a mentor. They need someone who knows the truth of the law and the gospel inside and out, who will fight alongside them. They need someone to pray for them. Really pray for them, not just talk about it.
You see, Satan has this war on women that takes various forms. On one side there’s the world telling them that they need to contribute everything men contribute. They don’t have value unless they do all the things men do. They need to have a great career, do all the things, and be the successful poster child. Then from the other side he throws the legalism of the church that says if they really wanted to be valued they would be feminine. If they really loved their families they would stay at home with their kids. If they really loved their husbands they would agree with everything they said.
And these women are stuck in-between a rock and a hard place. They have legalism crushing them on every side. That’s where you come in, and remind her of the reality.
The reality that her identity isn’t found in anything she does. It is found in the blood of Christ.
The reality that Jesus completed the law through his death and resurrection and the gospel is that we are saved, and we can fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, and he is faithful.
The reality that Jesus cares about their marriages, and he will walk them through their heartaches.
The reality that Jesus loves their children even more than they do, and he can be trusted in the ways he is calling their hearts to go.
Most especially with the dawn of the internet, Facebook, blog posts, and the flood of everything that everybody thinks of us, we need older women who are really good at pointing younger women to the gospel, and how that changes every part of our lives. We need to know what the gospel means for our marriages, what the gospel means for our children, and what the gospel means for our careers. We need to know what the gospel has to say about our loneliness, and what the gospel has to say about exhaustion.
We need freedom. Not the sexual, material, social freedom, but deep soul freedom. We need someone to show us what that looks like through the lens of the cross. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Friends, this has been on my heart for years, and never have I had more doors open by the Lord, and simultaneously have I had more battles with Satan than writing this online training course for you. You have no idea how many people were praying daily for this in the making. Never have I been convinced that what I was writing was striking a nerve in the spiritual realm. I tried quitting this project more times than I can count and the Holy Spirit simply would not let me.
This is not a program to launch at your church. This is something to start small. Don’t be afraid of small, tiny ministries. Jesus started with 12. Start in the secret places, and just watch what God will do. You’ll start with less. This ministry starts with God. It starts when he tugs at your heart and calls you to work with him. It starts when you trust him to just take the next step.
That doesn’t mean that you’ll be alone, or you have to keep this a secret. Invite friends to join you if you like! Talk about it together! No, there’s a whole tribe of us who have decided to not let the younger women in our church drown anymore. Not when we’re holding the truth that will give them air.
This online training course is self-paced. You can work on it as you have the time, and it will walk you through, step-by-step what this kind of ministry looks like. We have a closed Facebook group for those who are going through the course to ask questions and pray for each other as we trust God with the next step.
Enrollment for this course runs until May 14th. At that point, I’ll close enrollment so that I can make sure those who signed up are getting everything they need, and I have the customer service capabilities to serve them.
Let this be your summer school, when your women’s Bible study takes a break over the summer. Let the Lord just speak to your heart and show you wonderful things through this. See what he starts to do in your church through you. I didn’t know it when I started mentoring, but the women I reached out to, and the women I started meeting with blessed me 100x more than I did them. They blessed me so much I started feeling guilty about it. It brought about some amazing friendships. I’d die for those girls in a heartbeat.
That’s the kind of love and friendship that can only come from God. He blessed me with this ministry to the younger women in my life, and I don’t even know how to thank him for that.
I want to show any women who will listen how to do this. If you wonder if you are cut out for mentoring, refer back to my 7 Myths of Mentoring post, to see if you might have some ideas about this ministry that aren’t true, and relieve your fears.
Or you can just sign up to have the online course right HERE. Remember, enrollment is open until May 14th.