Future Pastors and Elders in the Nursery?

ID-100298481 Read on, he is not talking about the little baby boys in our nurseries:

As I’ve observed, many seminary students and other brothers aspiring to pastoral ministry are always on the lookout for opportunities to serve in the church. Regrettably, I think sometimes we have our sights set on only one type of service—public teaching. Of course, nothing is necessarily wrong with desiring to exercise your gifts, putting them under the evaluation of the church, and cultivating pastoral skills for future ministry. The problem is that many aspiring pastors fall into the trap of thinking this only happens by engaging in the adult teaching ministry of the church.

Serving in the nursery may not feel like a time to cultivate your pastoral gifts, but that may mean you have a too narrow or professionalized view of pastoral ministry. We cannot reduce pastoral ministry to proclamation and teaching, though that task is obviously central and essential (2 Tim. 4:2). If we take our cues from the character qualifications given to elders in 1 Timothy and the example of Jesus’s own life, we find a comprehensive picture for Christian ministry that is both more beautiful and more daunting than anything like mastering Greek and Hebrew. Serving small children in nursery might just be the place to cultivate the very character qualities Christ demands of those who would lead his church.

… So brothers, serve in the nursery. Serve in children’s Sunday school. Don’t let your M.Div., Ph.D., or any other life situation or experience convince you that you’re overqualified to emulate our Lord’s example. In our cultural context, picking up saliva-soggy Cheerios off the floor, … and telling a toddler about Jesus may just be the closest thing you ever do to washing someone’s feet.

(from “Brothers, Serve in Nursery” by Samuel Emadi at www.gospelcoalition.org)

As a children’s ministry worker, I am always encouraged when I see seminary students and even current elders serving in various capacities in children’s ministries. It gives us an opportunity to see their servant-like character and also benefit from their theological insights and knowledge. It gives these men a front-line perspective of the importance of proclaiming the glorious deeds of the Lord to the next generation and the specific challenges and joys of doing this in young hearts and minds. You can read the entire article here.

(Image courtesy of tuelekza at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

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