Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How "Pro-Life" Are You? Radical Enough for Nursery Duty?

Our church is pro-life. Period.

The sanctity of human life is part of our official theology as a Reformed, Bible-believing evangelical church. We unabashedly preach the sanctity of human life from passages like Genesis 1:27, Psalm 139, and Jeremiah 1:5. I typically get hearty "amens" when I do.

Every year in January we set aside a special Sunday to honor the work of life-ministry near the anniversary of Roe Vs. Wade in our prayers. We pray for life-ministries, and ask the Lord to forgive us for our spiritual lethargy in not advancing the cause more ardently.

We are proud to have launched a city ministry from our home church that regularly works towards the cause. A New Generation was founded by one of our members and her husband, an elder. A New Generation gives free  away free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, life-coaching, and provides whole-family ministry to those in crisis.

Our church is pro-life. Period. 

And yet I continue to marvel at how we struggle to staff our nursery on Sunday Mornings and Wednesday nights.

This prompts me to wonder just how pro-life the people in the pews really are. Pro-life enough to vote on matters of conscience in crucial elections? Absolutely! And oh how emotively we discuss the candidates and their positions on life!  I can't name one person in our church that wouldn't list a candidate's views on abortion as a top priority.

Pro-life enough to give funding to our annual Life Banquet each October? Definitely! Give me a few  moments to cite some current statistics on abortion rates, and I can probably hand you several check right now.

Pro-life enough to take a turn in the nursery once a month to serve those that we love so passionately (in theory)? That seems to be another story.

Haven't we been arguing all along that life inside the womb is qualitatively equal to life outside the womb? That the imago dei in human beings before birth is as real and present as it is post-birth?  Indeed. Why then the baffling loss of passion once those beautiful children don diapers, bring their runny noses, and enter our church nursery? I'm at a loss to explain it.

It seems to me that a pro-life church ought to have no problems staffing a nursery.

I can tell you about the family who raised a child they rescued from poverty in Russia. I can tell you a heart-warmer about another family who adopted a child from Eastern Europe. Or still another about the child rescued from a drug and violence filled home. These are just anecdotes from my own church, and there are several others.

But when it comes to getting volunteers (especially men) to move from the pews to the nursery department once a month to take care of the children we've rescued, it's not exactly as easy as "taking candy from a baby."

Just saying...

Matthew Everhard is the Senior Pastor of Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brooksville, Florida. He is also the author of Abortion: The Evangelical Perspective, a great book with a really ugly cover.


  1. I agree with your sentiment, but not your premise. To say that you are less pro-life if you don't work in the nursery would be the same as saying you are a luddite because you don't work in your church's IT ministry or you are a greedy thief because you tithe only 10% (or less). God gives us all gits and passions. I prefer to work with things instead of people, meaning I'll spend 6 hours one Saturday a month fixing the church roof or repairing donated furniture, like baby cribs, but find myself totally drained working with children.

    I do agree with your point - more men need to be involved in children's ministry at all ages. Possibly they just need to be asked. Possibly they need to be shown what unique contribution men can make. Primarily, I think it's just how you ask them.

  2. Good thoughts there, Anonymous. Thank for contributing your ideas to this discussion. You make a helpful contribution by reminding us of calling and giftedness. -Matthew