An open letter to kids’ church workers

Dear children’s pastor,

You – and your team – are the reason we go to church.

This is a tough season. Three young kids, who all prefer to stay close to mom rather than enjoy the activities offered to them. Most Sundays I am sitting in a room alone, watching the service on a TV while trying to keep my children happy with snacks and small toys. Most Sundays I wonder why I still go, why I don’t stay in my pjs and watch the livestream instead of wrestling my kids into clean clothes and out the door. Most Sundays I struggle to see the point and purpose, when I barely get a hello to my friends or more than a few minutes to engage in the service without interruptions.

When I was younger I saw Sunday school/kids church as a place where children were dropped off so their parents could enjoy and contribute to the service. The volunteers, in my mind, were barely more than glorified babysitters.

Wow, did I underestimate them.

Now that my oldest goes to a preschool class, I have a new and growing appreciation for all kids’ church staff everywhere. I knew they worked hard and cared deeply, but I’m seeing that with a fresh perspective now that my child is a recipient of that care.

So, kids’ church volunteers: you are the reason we show up on Sundays.

Even if I only hear a few words of the sermon, I know my daughter is listening to Bible stories and memorizing verses. Even if I feel isolated, I know she is developing friendships and social skills. Even if I spend most of the service trying to keep a baby happy, I know my older child is making crafts and dancing to music. Even if I struggle to stay connected, I know my girl is starting to navigate her own relationship with Jesus.

When she runs to me at the end of the service, glowing with a smile and proud of what she learned and created, I know it’s worth it. I know why we keep showing up for church on Sunday. I know that even if there’s little benefit to me in this season of motherhood, my children are soaking up the atmosphere. I know that even if there’s little I can contribute right now, my kids are seeing what it means to be part of the church.

So, thank you. For your heart for our children, the work you put into this ministry, and for seeing the future.

Thank you. It’s because of you I come to church.

Cheryl Hazelton
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2 thoughts on “An open letter to kids’ church workers

  1. Ricky Gilman says:

    Cheryl, That an was awesome read, had me in tears. Although I do not directly teach to the children I know what you say to be true. Besides keeping track of and maintaining the children’s safety at registration, each month I also assist JudyLynn in setting the stage for pre-school for that months focus, meaning new posters, banners and the other whatnots. It’s a part of them, the little ones, being excited to see the changes and to get them ready to learn about Jesus. You are correct in saying they, the staff, really care and work hard to accomplish the goals set forth by the curriculum and to set a firm foundation instructed by Jesus himself . “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it” Proverbs 22:6 (NLT)

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