Some of you would agree with me when I say, “I am practically in the entertainment industry.” Trying to keep a couple dozen infants and toddlers happy all the time is nearly impossible, so I have to find new ways to keep them from screaming their heads off, non-stop. I am still working on that project to no avail, but I will remain faithful until I get it figured out. We have totes full of toys, we have all kinds of learning devices provided by our corporate sponsor V-Tech, we have a deluxe playground that boasts four stories of adventure, equipped with a professionally-staffed juice and baby formula bar, along with a café which serves Goldfishcrackers in every conceivable flavor, and so many more amenities to make our state-of-the-art nursery as entertaining as humanly possible.
Whenever I show up for nursery duty, I always begin with a warmup routine to make sure I’m bringing my best game. From the 25 lb weights to the diaper changing simulator, I want to be the best I can be. I always test ride the roller coaster before letting the first dozen kids ride it. Safety first! Whenever I purchase inflatable moonwalks (from bounce house sales or similar sources), I always ensure that they are safe for the kids to play on. I also make the cotton candy dispenser ready and make sure the ponies are fed and the elephant has enough peanuts to hold him until the pizza party. If it’s hot, my job gets harder-not because I’m old, but because the water slide and kiddie pool require extra maintenance. Wow, this nursery thing sure is hard! I remember, back in the day, when I could just give the little girls a doll and the boys a toy truck and they would be entertained for hours-my, how times have changed!
So I have joked about the level of entertainment that our church nursery offers through the use of exaggerated stereotypes, however, there is a lesson that children of all ages can take away from all of this. The more technology advances, the more dependent upon entertainment we become. It has quickly spilled over into many worship services causing the focus that used to be on Almighty God to shift to “us.” Many people come to the place of worship in order to satisfy desires that your average rock concert could meet. When it ceases to be all about the Savior, it ceases to be worship. Yet we throw that term around like an old discus and wonder why we don’t see more of Christ’s power in our lives. Probably because we try to limit a limitless God and likely because we are not worshiping Monday through Saturday, and then we get all in a tizzy when the worship band’s set list doesn’t match our favorite playlist.
I have never found anything in all my years of studying the Word of God that would indicate that God longs for us to be entertained and that it makes him happy. Does God want us to live a fulfilling life? Does he want us to enjoy the world he created? Of course he does! However, he doesn’t want us to do so at the expense of not worshiping him. I have heard various definitions of “worship,” but I am convinced that the most accurate is that worship is a lifestyle of doing everything for the glory of God. Worship entails far more than catchy choruses or world-class bands. Paul tells us what worship is in 1 Corinthians 10:31: “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Every facet of our lives should be viewed as worship!
Please do not get me wrong; I am not criticizing elaborate worship sets or a worship team that focuses heavily on production; I love well-orchestrated and organized services; I am a production-minded person. My point is this: do not limit worship to a time of singing and music when it was intended to be so much more. I will give you a couple examples before I get back to the nursery to listen to the music in 5.1 surround sound. When we pray, it is an act of worship; when we sing, it is an act of worship; when we read the Bible, it is an act of worship; when we listen to a teacher communicate God’s truth in an understandable way, we are worshiping; when we apply the truth and commit to obey God’s commands, we are worshiping; when we eat of the provision that he gives us, we are worshiping; when we do our best at our jobs, that is also an act of worship; when we raise our kids, grandkids, the neighbor’s kids, and even strangers who mysteriously wander into our homes (okay, so maybe not the last two), we are worshiping God.
Since we were made to worship the one true God, we should reflect his glory in every area of our lives. Don’t separate your “church life” from your “personal life” because it should all be the same. We should live out God’s love so others can glorify him and know that we belong to the Most High God (Matthew 5:16). Does your worship need a facelift? Does your heart need a tune-up? Ask him to help you worship him in every area of your life and grow out of mere entertainment into a deeper relationship with him. There is so much more to life than being entertained-like living a Christ-centered life that pleases him. That is worship!
Angry Nursery Worker is a fictional and very active character on Twitter. She sees the world through the lens of working in the church nursery and despises children. The only reason she ended up there is because she got tired of the kids in the row behind her in church constantly kicking her seat. Her motto is “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” (emphasis on “beat”). No one knows her exact age, but it can be assured that her parents subscribed to the Hebrew naming method of giving their child a name that reflected her personality. Therefore, Angry Nursery Worker speaks volumes of both her temperament and her early destiny being determined for a full-time, lifelong career in the nursery.Although no one is exactly sure of her age, Mrs. Angry claims to be around 112 years old, despite her elevated maturity level (sigh). She currently drives a 1986 Buick Skylark, lives alone (but not with cats—she despises them), and has a strange addiction to the “teething serum” that they use in the nursery to sooth the babies’ sore gums (don’t judge; she knows you are friends with Jack Daniels).Interacting with other Twitter users, both real and anonymous has led to some great conversations and striking revelations, especially about her marital history—let’s just say she’s had her share of husbands, but is not really good at keeping them around. There’s so much more to Angry Nursery Worker that she could literally write a book, but for now, she just enjoys telling tales of nursery experiences and labeling them with the hashtag #NurseryNightmares. Follow her on Twitter @NurseryAngry.