Tuesday, November 22, 2011


8 Reasons Why Single Men Should Work in the Church Nursery
by: Pastor Mark Driscoll on Nov 22, 2011 in Discipleship, Marriage, Parenting

I think my love for kids started with my grandpa George. He died in 1980 when I was ten years old. I still think of him often. He loved me, and I loved him. He was a retired diesel mechanic and a big guy who wore overalls and taught me how to handle power tools as I worked with him in his garage.

Riding in his car was always great because he kept in his glove box a bag of Tootsie Roll Pops with their fudgetastic center. When we went out to breakfast, the waitresses always dropped by our table to hear him tell a story—and he was hilarious. And when I stayed the night at his house, we’d sneak up while Grandma was asleep to eat caramel apples and watch wrestling on TV—“Rowdy” Roddy Piper, The Sheik, Andre the Giant, and my favorite, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka.

The kids in my grandpa’s neighborhood loved him too. They often dropped by to see what he was working on in his shop. And when the ice cream truck drove by, they would stop, get whatever they wanted, and he would always come out and pay for it all.

I loved my grandpa. And I miss him.

One thing he left with me was a deep love for children. I just picked it up from him, as did his daughter, my mom. Growing up at the oldest of five children, I looked forward to one day being a dad.

As a new Christian and college freshman, my first ministry was taking care of a bunch of young kids during a daytime women’s Bible study. It was the best. The kids were super fun, and on any given week I had anywhere from maybe 10 to 20 kids under the age of five for a few hours without any help. Those hours included crackers, juice, Bible stories, wrestling for the boys, and tea parties for the girls. The moms were surprised that a 19-year-old single guy would volunteer for the nursery, but I’m glad I did. And I’d encourage the same for other single men. In fact, I have nine reasons why single men should work in the church nursery:

It helps you learn what Jesus meant by child-like faith
When you tell a kid that Jesus walked on water, they don’t defer to Hume and enlightenment presuppositions about the miraculous. They say, “Yeah!” and their eyes get big because they believe what the Bible says.

It helps you learn about God as Father
When you interact with kids, you are reminded that to God you are just a kid and that you really need your Father. Every guy, including the one in a suit making more money than he can ever spend, is just a Fudgsicle-faced kid to the Father.

It opens up your heart to children
This causes you to view such things as sex and women differently, less selfishly, and more biblically.

It helps you pick a wife who will be a good mom
When you hang out with kids, you realize you need to marry a woman who is more interested in building a good legacy than just having a good time.

It helps you learn how to be a good father
Some guys are afraid, repelled, or ignorant of kids. Get over your fears and prejudices by hanging out with someone else’s kids a few hours a week, and learn how to interact with kids well.

It’s important for kids without a dad to have godly, male investment in their life
Young boys without a dad need the godly investment of a man. Young girls without a dad need a godly man’s loving encouragement. And the single moms really appreciate godly men investing in their kids.

It’s a good place to meet a nice gal
Single guys may not know this, but nice, single gals who love Jesus and want to marry and become a mom someday are working in the nursery. That’s like fishing in a trout pond if you’re a single guy. And the single moms dropping off their kids should be considered for marriage too. After all, Jesus’ mother was a single mom until Joseph married her and adopted Jesus.

Jesus did
Our God came to earth as a single guy and hung out with kids. They loved him. They didn’t crucify him like the religious folks. If you want to learn about Jesus and become more like him, spend more time with kids like he did.

What do you think of this, dear readers? Will post some thoughts in a day or two.....


  1. I would think this was a good post if it hadn't been for points 4 and 7. I wish more men - single or not - would be involved with kids ministry because I DO think it's important for kids to have male AND female role models, and I think there's a huge problem with a lack of good male role models in our world these days.

    And as he said - Jesus did. And we can learn a lot about from children's trusting faith that us adults struggle with as we learn mistrust and cynicism from our experience of life growing up.

    However, if any guy comes into ministry just to look for a prospective wife, he can go elsewhere in my opinion. grr.

  2. Many thoughts...not all coherent and ready to be shared. But the over-riding one...why only single men? Why not married men and dads too? Looking forward to reading your thoughts, and maybe clarifying mine! x

  3. Anonymous6:21 PM

    Re: points 4 & 7. What he's actually doing (albeit a bit backhandedly), is trying to overcome a series of prejudices which keep single men out of children's work ie. (i) that they will be seen as effeminate and/or homosexual (ii) seen as potential child abusers.
    (no, really.)

    Instead of just straightforwardly addressing these genuine issues head-on, he seems to be trying to attack these prejudices by overwhelming them with his macho-man theology.

    I also sense that he is having to counter some of the negative effects of his hyper-complimentarianism - which no doubt have made many of his male followers view themselves as not 'designed' for children's work.

    For sure this post contains some crass things, clumsily expressed. But in terms of what is probably going on in his circles, might actually correct a few extremes.

    I unreservedly like the sound of his grandfather though....

  4. I am enjoying the somewhat delicious irony of the fact that the author of this HIWWC blog (here and on twitter) is the person on the www from whom I am most often pointed in the direction of a certain M. Driscoll!

    You must be doing wonders for his web-stats...

  5. OK. Mr Hideous - you first! MD has YOU to thank :-)

    When you and I first connected through our mutual student status at that great theological institution, I was a card-carrying charismatic chandalier-swinging non-conformist Baptist. Mark Driscoll may as well have been the name of a pensions adviser to me, in that I hadn't heard of him. So I have you to thank for enlightening me :-)

    And I am quite happy to refer people to his website because maybe more people will do what I want to do on this one; challenge aspects of what he says, Just as I have been challenged by people around me, those I love, those I have worked with. We need to be open to correction, which is why I waited before drafting what I wanted to say, to allow grace to flow in. (which is why I love our anonymous comment, shown above!)

    It works - he removed a public comment he made about namby-pamby effeminate worship leaders recently. So all credit to him for that. I maintain and will continue to say that LOVE must be our primary motivation for wanting to serve ANYONE, especially the vulnerable ones in our society. I can't do what I do and not uphold my past volunteers, some of whom are offended with the way they are viewed as "man material". They are noble, humble, loving and strong women.

  6. Hello Mr/Ms/Mrs (and I suspect might be "Rev") Anonymous,
    thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!
    I promised that I would put some of my views down, which I am now ready to do, albeit briefly as I have a deadline looming....
    you make some REALLY great points and one I hadn't thought of at all re trying to get more men into the creche. For all we know, MD might be facing a huge children's ministry staffing crisis at this church, which I think keeps children separate from adults for the whole service. This means that the creche is actually a REALLY important place as if it isn't functioning well (is under-staffed), then mums/dads/carers stop coming to church - there is a proven relationship between the level of satisfaction with children and youth ministry in a church and the numbers of parents attending - not that we look for numbers as a measure of success! However, watch carefully for any decline as this would signal to me that something has gone amiss.

    I am deeply disappointed that all Driscoll has to say about the benefits of being around children and watching their wide-eyed belief in God as: "you view sex and women differently". As a sage woman observing lots of D's posts/tweets, he makes controversial comments about sex a lot - hmmmm?! Not that the church doesn't need to hear about sex and relationships, in an honest and helpful manner, but to continually link - as he does - a woman's role with sex and child-bearing is - we feel it - a tad demeaning. It doesn't look or sound like honouring a woman - a personal view but I think an important one to hear. Opening up your heart to children, I believe, shows you what the Father is like. He has hidden some thing from the wise in order that little children would know. He has ordained praise from them. He tenderly places his touch on their lives. All over the world little children are seeing angels and having supernatural revelations of things of the Kingdom. Had MD mentioned anything about their simple love and trust in the Father which we would do well to emulate I'd have been more taken with what he had to say. Personally, I think he wrote this post in a hurry.

    As for working in the creche causes you to pick a woman who will be a good wife....pfff, so demeaning. Yes, you will see the way a woman interacts with children but - hello - don't USE your creche to find women - come out of there into your wider church life and listen to them pray, watch them lead, be encouraged by their worship, marvel at their smile as they include someone into a conversation who is lonely. Can I add (to be naughty): listen to them teach about the Word and their experiences of their heavenly Father?

    Is the creche a "good place to meet a nice gal"? What is she doesn't want to meet you? What is she is happy in her singleness or has been hurt by a man? Isn't she allowed to be complete without a man?

    And, most concerning of all for me in this whole affair is the motive of USING children's ministry for one's own ends. This feels contra the gospel to me, where we serve without what we can get back. People want to be around children for all kinds of motives, most good but some deeply sinister and therefore those of us who oversee all spiritual growth and development of young people take very seriously the need to practise professional safeguarding procedures, which includes sceeening and interviewing all volunteers, taking up wo references and, in this country, ensuring the prospective volunteer is registered with the PVG (Protection of Vulnerable Groups) Scheme. This is the law which we do have to adhere to AND it honours the littlest ones in our midst.

    Finally, as L pointed out, why just single men? Dads and grandpas in the creche, are so loved by the children for the reasons that MD pointed out.

    For the reasons outlined above, I will make a formal response. You can't be in such a position of responsibility and post whatever you want. Even if I am ignored, at least I did something.

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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