My Nursery Story

The heart of a nursery volunteer


by David Boyd/ November 24, 2015

I had been a successful children’s pastor for about eight years. Both churches that I worked in during that time had grown significantly, especially in the children’s areas. I had learned a lot, and at my young age I may have even felt I knew it all. I have since learned there is ALWAYS more to learn in children’s ministries.

I was making my rounds and stopped by the nursery to check on the nursery leaders. Those workers are often left alone, so it was my intent to make sure they felt cared for and had everything they needed. As I stopped in, there was Herb rocking a crying baby back and forth in his arms.

I immediately went into action to care for my worker Herb. I reminded him that we can call for the mother simply by inserting her number in our newly purchased pager system. The mother would see her number and would come in from the sanctuary. After all, I thought, Herb shouldn’t have to put up with a crying baby.

But Herb was on an entirely different wave level than me. While I was concerned about Herb’s welfare, he was concerned about the child and the young mother.

Herb answered back in a cooing, soothing baby type voice, speaking to me but also in baby talk to the baby. “Pastor Boyd, oh pastor Boyd. We don’t want to call the baby’s mother. No we don’t, no we don’t, no we don’t. It’s her first time here with this little guy, and we don’t want her to have to leave the sanctuary. No we don’t. No we don’t. We want her to be there for the whole service and maybe find Jesus. Don’t we little guy?”

Herb continued, “If I can just get this little guy to settle down before the service is over, then this family will come back again. And that’s what we want. Isn’t it little guy? That’s what we want. That’s what we want.”

I learned a big lesson that day. While I was concerned about Herb, my volunteer worker Herb was concerned about the souls of a young mother and young child. I wished I had a hundred more people like Herb, and to be honest, we did. We had an army of nearly 300 children’s workers at that church. We ran buses three days a week. We had a team of people who had enormous hearts for the lost. And I learned a lot from them!

Side note: Years later in another church, I learned never to assign the number 911 to a child in the nursery. Because when you dial 911 to get that child’s mother, half the church will come running over. There is ALWAYS more to learn in children’s ministry.