Since we’ve known each other, my wife and I have almost always volunteered together at church. For the longest time, it was in the youth group, specifically middle school, because that’s my jam. Even in my 30’s, I’m still all about jokes and Fortnite.
But a few years ago, we had the opportunity to help plant a new church, and when that happened there was a huge need in the nursery. So, my wife stepped up to help run it.
At the time we had a toddler of our own. I personally felt like I dealt with enough screaming and bodily functions at home, so I let her do that while I kept tricking 7th graders into eating spoonsful of cinnamon.
But two years ago, as our church was growing, they asked my wife to come on staff as the nursery director. Now she wasn’t just dealing with diapers and meltdowns on Sundays. She was also in charge of recruiting nursery volunteers, training, setting schedules, stocking rooms, and still dealing with the diapers and meltdowns.
We also had a second kid shortly before that. We weren’t spending as much time together, we were stressed, we were tired, and we needed to simplify. During that time of simplifying, I stepped back from the youth group.
I still wanted to serve, and I really felt like God was putting it on my heart to serve with my wife—where she was gifted.
So, I became her #1 volunteer. She even had a shirt made … ok I made a shirt, and she doesn’t let me wear it out of the house.
Babies, Toddlers, and Their Parents Need to Be Seen
Now I’ve served in the nursery at our church for almost 2 years and it’s been amazing. I’ve done the baby shark dance enough times that sometimes I catch myself doing the motions when I’m falling asleep. I’ve been fed enough fake cakes to start my own bakery.
But more importantly, I’ve gotten to show kids and their parents that they are important. That they are valuable, unique, and loved.
But there is one thing I didn’t see very much of—other dads serving.
Maybe your church is different, but in my experience, it seems way more likely that you’ll see dads volunteer to be an usher or on the security team before you’ll see them singing lullabies to a baby that isn’t theirs.
But I think dads have a lot to add to the nursery—so maybe it’s time to ask. Don’t believe me? Just keep reading.
6 Reasons Why You Should Ask Dads to Serve
1) Kids Benefit from Seeing Mom AND Dad Serve
Kids copy. It’s what they do.
So, if parents want their kids to grow up to serve selflessly, they need to serve selflessly. And they need to serve where their kids can see them.
2) Dad’s Know All the Tricks
I don’t know this for sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the “no hand bottle hold” was invented by a dad. Sure … he probably did it so that he could keep playing Halo, but it still counts.
Both of our kids always instinctively cried for their mommy. So, to compensate (and make sure my wife got to sleep for at least a few minutes each night), I got really good at the ol’ swaddle-bounce-shhhh that they teach you in baby classes.
That may not work on my kids anymore, but it still works on the Miller’s twins.
3) It Gives Dads a Chance to Be like Jesus
You already know that kids are important. You’ve probably got a “let the little children come to Me” talk down so well that you could do it in your sleep. I bet you’ve shared it when you’re recruiting nursery volunteers for years. But it doesn’t make it less true. Children’s ministry is important.
Dads should want to be like Jesus. Give them a chance to care about the babies.
4) It’s a Great Opportunity for Spouses to Serve Together
I’m not a marriage counselor but I can say that after 10 years of marriage to someone way out of my league, we are better when we’re working together. My wife is passionate about the nursery and getting to serve alongside her is a blessing.
I get to see her doing what she was made to do. Plus, when we have a really hard Sunday with multiple kids screaming at the top of their lungs, it feels like we’ve survived a war together.
It makes for great team building.
5) It’s Beneficial for Kids of All Ages to See Godly Examples of Women and Men
Not everyone’s home life is the same. Unfortunately, broken families and abuse are rampant in our world. We can’t guarantee that every baby or toddler who comes to our care has an example of a loving man or woman in their life.
Even as a baby that’s important.
6) There Is a NEED
Maybe you are blessed beyond measure and have more volunteers than you can handle. But, if that isn’t the case, if you are struggling with recruiting nursery volunteers, then make sure you aren’t ignoring half of your congregation. It can’t hurt to ask.
Don’t say “no” for them. Encourage wives to invite their husbands to serve and ask grandpas who are going through grandkid withdrawals.
Ask them to give it a try, and I guarantee as soon as that first little newborn falls asleep on their shoulder while they’re singing it a lullaby, they’ll be hooked.