“Why can’t men help out with children’s church?” one mother lamented. Our church was down a children’s ministry intern for a season. We were needing more volunteers than usual to fill in the gaps. Many of our new mothers were picking up the volunteer load. After a few weeks, it became evident that to keep this pace would mean that several of these moms would be missing church twice a month. They didn’t mind helping. They enjoyed serving the children. But as one of the volunteers said, “I feel like volunteering every other week! I’d like to hear the sermon too.”
Men! It’s time to man up! Churches need more men to serve in children’s ministry. We need to share the load with our women volunteers. Here’s the good news. You’ll love it!
I find it interesting that in the passage from Matthew 19:13-15, the disciples prevent the children from approaching Jesus. Maybe these male disciples were worried about working their first children’s church. Is it too much to assume that if the disciples in this scene had been women, the outcome would have been different? Either way, Jesus embraced the children and called his disciples to do the same. Long before children’s church was a thing, Jesus instructed men, “Help out with children’s church.”
A couple of years ago, the principal of Brookwood High School, Bo Ford, spoke to a group of men at their annual steak dinner (that’s a men’s gathering if I ever heard one). He talked about the ins and outs of being an administrator and the challenges of parents and staff. At the end of his talk, he opened the floor for conversation. Someone asked him, “What do you do to get away from it all?” He said, “Every Sunday morning at 9 a.m., I volunteer for the children’s ministry at my church. I work with the 3 year old class. Do you know the great thing about 3 year olds? They are glad to see you. They just want to know you care about them. I hear the complaints Monday through Friday from everyone else. There’s a parent wanting to contest their children unexcused absences. There’s a teacher who’s upset about a decision I’ve made. But on Sunday, the worse thing I might have to deal with is a child’s runny nose. I can’t wait for Sundays. ”
After he finished, I did an altar call for children’s ministry volunteer sign-ups. Men. It’s time to man up! God’s children need us!