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While looking at cute summer dresses on Pinterest yesterday afternoon, I realized that I hadn’t worn heels to church in about a year. The realization came as I pinned all sorts of cute coral and canary-hued ensembles complete with nude pumps and matching cardy’s.
Oh, that would be so cute for church! I thought to myself.
Then I realized, I serve in the preschool Sunday school class so often that I typically don’t wear heels – or any sort of cute footwear for that matter! For instance, this Sunday I served the toddlers. My outfit? Our church T-shirt, jeans, and running shoes.
I’m not complaining – my choice was practical. You can’t chase kids who are making a b-line to the water fountain in 3-inch scrappy sandals. (Safely, that is. Or without blisters, for that matter). Did you know that toddlers love chandelier earrings? They also love it when you act like an elephant, which makes skirts a poor choice for rolling around on the carpet.
And I only mention my wardrobe here, because my change of Sunday dress is evidence of a surprising change of heart for me. I say surprising, because two years ago my service in the children’s department would have been offered with grumbles and dread.
As a new mom, Sunday mornings were often the only day I was afforded the luxury of makeup and earrings! And those weekly moments of sitting kid-free in the sanctuary became my survival kit for worship. I had yet to learn (as a dear friend reminded me) that the act of worship can become the most lucid in serving children – your own and others.
And even though the thought of wearing a new Easter dress makes my heart sing, it soars when little hearts raise their voices to the heavens to announce “He is Risen!”
Not everyone is called to children’s ministry – I get that. My call to children’s ministry comes out of my own ministry of motherhood (my kids are in the nursery) and a practical need (as a church plant we enjoy lots of kids and few hands).
And while I certainly enjoy worshiping with our church corporately, chasing stray crayons under the table and wiping runny noses has become one new area of worship for me.
In general, serving kids is one of the most under-serviced areas in many churches and the most necessary. It’s also home to one of ministry’s best-kept secrets – serving children can be a highly rewarding act of worship.
Are you serving in your church’s children’s department? If not, here’s a few ideas to get you started:
- Offer to set up or clean up rooms.
Volunteer to stay after the service and disinfect toys. Our church plant meets in a hotel on Sunday morning, so we pack up everything in plastic bins before and after the service. If you’re in an existing church, I bet there are still things that need to be done – like emptying trash cans!
- Offer to check-in kids when they arrive.
Greeters are often the first face seen by visitors to your church. And extra hands are always a welcome gift for moms wrangling multiple kids.
- Offer to serve as a classroom assistant.
If you are scared of teaching kids, this is a great way to get started. This is also an easy way for churches to enact the mentoring command in Titus 2. I’ve learned a lot by shadowing some great teachers, you will too.
- Offer to be a classroom supplier.
This is a great role if you’re a woman who loves to craft. You probably have craft supplies tucked away you aren’t using. Consider donating them to your church or picking up extra supplies while you are out. This is also a blessing for churches with big ideas and small budgets.
What are you wearing to church these days? I don’t wear tennis shoes every Sunday, but I certainly look forward to the days that I do.
Do you serve in your church’s children’s department? What is the most rewarding aspect of worshiping this way?