Sometimes your bouncing baby boy or charming little girl is less than happy. Cue the screams. These lovely breakdowns usually happen at the worst times for parents, and most likely those parents just have to deal with it.
However, after sacrament meeting, Latter-day Saint parents can drop off their writhing, sobbing child at Nursery for two hours of supervised fun and joy while they enjoy their chance for spiritual nourishment.
It’s a running joke that being called as a Nursery leader is one of the worst callings you can get. But here’s five reasons why teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to two to three year olds is actually the best calling in the church.
1. Play Time
The majority of Nursery is spent playing with children. My personal experience involved a small slide, trains, cars, balls, Barbies, puzzles, and on one memorable occasion, a large cardboard box. I haven’t had so much fun in a long time. Kids these days are very good at entertaining themselves, but there’s nothing better than stepping into a child’s world. Your job as a leader is to keep the peace and just go along with the ride.
2. Snack Time
Surprise! Nursery comes with snack time!! Granted, the impressive spread of marshmallows, goldfish, graham crackers, cookies, pretzels, and sometimes candy is for the kids, but I’ve had enough goldfish pushed against my lips until I eat it to know a lost cause when I see it. The kids are usually calm for as long as there is food on the table, so it also serves as time for tired leaders to sit and recharge. It’s a great way to lead into a lesson as well.
3. Singing Time
Have you ever had the desire to sing nursery rhymes at the top of your voice with all the accompanying actions? Well, in Nursery singing time is a staple for directing kids energy. I’m a Little Tea Pot, the Itsy Bitsy Spider, Wheels on the Bus, Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam, if you can name it, you will sing it at least five times. Don’t forget the actions. They are the best part.
4. Lesson Time
If you manage to wrangle your herd of children into some chairs—or laps, if they need that extra bit of supervision—then it’s time to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to two year olds. This can seem a bit daunting, but simple truths like Jesus loves me and God created the animals are received well with some repetition, hand puppets, and coloring pages. Always coloring pages. Especially coloring pages.
5. The Spirit You Feel
Now let’s get serious. The best part of Nursery comes in those moments when you feel the pure love Christ has for little children. Serving in Nursery is an opportunity to do as Christ did, and love as he loved—easily, unselfishly, and without judgement. Plus you get to see the gospel as a child sees it.
So the next time you’re called into the bishop’s office for a new calling and it is Nursery, get excited. You’ve actually got the best calling ever.