Saturday, January 12, 2008

Should Men Be Kicked Out of the Church Nursery?

Dr. Helen Smith responds to a reader e-mail about a church that banned men (in general) from the nursery.

Like any pastor, I have a healthy paranoia about such matters. A few weeks ago, when the church had a decorating day for Christmas, I made a run to the Family Dollar Store to pick up some light bulbs. A twelve year-old girl in the congregation asked to ride with me, and I had to tell her no. I explained why, and she understood.

I never meet alone with a woman under the age of fifty, but the demonization of men that Dr. Smith describes is abhorrent.

HT: Glenn Reynolds


Dan Trabue said...

We have a two adults in nursery policy at all times, but it can be men. I am, I must say, a great nursery dude and would oppose any women-only policy - not that our church would implement one.

truevyne said...

Heck, no! My assistant for 3,4, and 5 year olds was a man a few years ago, and he was fabulous- especially with the boys.
The church has the two people policy and wouldn't let men take children to the bathroom, so we had to yell down the hall for help.

How will boys ever become men if they're stuck with us silly girls at church, home and school???

Mary Beth said...

I think the two-person rule should take care of any concerns about men being in the nursery. One of our regular nursery staff is a man, and there's almost always another man present as well. Our nursery is huge, though, so there are always at least three adults at all times.

Brian said...

I can see the reasoning behind their flawed logic, but cannot agree with it.

In my opinion, as long as there are several workers in the nursery at the same time, there should be no problems. To add to this: I must say that using video monitoring equipment never hurts either.

As a man, I would be offended if my church evoked my priveledges to walk into the nursery, especially if one of my children were in there.

-Brian Moore

Michelle said...

Personally, I believe men are a very neccesary asset to childrens' ministry. There are many children in today's society who do not have a possible male role model.

Certainly, we do need to exercise caution in selecting our volunteers, but gender should not be an issue in this process. Men & women are both capable of abuse, regardless of the fact that abuse form males gets more media attention.

the reverend mommy said...

My 2 cents worth: I would have allowed him to say and asked his wife to go -- not really, but the two adults need to be UNRELATED.

It doesn't matter if one if male or not or both or female or both male -- they need to be unrelated for two reasons:

In the large majority of abuse cases that occur when two adults are present, the adults are related/married/living in the same household.

Secondly, you cannot be forced to testify against a related person in most courts of law.

I would not have a problem with a man taking kids to the bathroom -- as long as well all go together; the outer door stays open and one adult is "inside" and one "outside" the door. Better crowd control that way too.

John, you were wise about not allowing the 12 year old girl go with you -- you could have suggested that another adult ride along. Counseling women is tricky -- likewise for a woman pastor counseling men. But it will be necessary at some point. If so, have a "trustworthy" (i.e. not a blabbermouth) person sit in the outer office to observe through a closed glass door or to listen so that your bases are covered.

Matt said...

Yes, and while we're at it, can we also get kicked off of setup & teardown, audio/video, and evangelism as well?

Anonymous said...

I actually have to disagree! God specific roles for men and women. I am not saying that men should not help out in kids church. I believe kids need male role models, however, I do not believe men should be in nurseries. IF my husband had a hard time quieting down our baby girl --(which mothers have an innate sense to do this) How can another man... I am not excluding husbands that need to assist their children in the nurseries.. my other question is why do men want to be in nurseries... I think the liberality of this world has filtered into the church and more men are becoming like women and women are becoming more like men...

Tom said...

I believe young men as well as adult men should not serve in a nursery (our nursery is 3 years and younger) God has called men and women to different types of service and has equipped us to do those services. The nursery is for nurturing, and the Bible clearly states that we should be teaching our young ladies to be nurturers. Young men should be in the service learning to be leaders. Not to say that a man is incapable of these duties, but it is not what God has called us to. We are many parts of one body, if the body is to perform the way God wants it to, we must develop and use the abilities that God has given to us as men and as women.