Should Non-Christians Serve in Children’s Ministry? More Ideas

In the last post, I presented both sides of this question, but making the case that I think non-Christians could serve in a church’s Children’s Ministry.  Here are some other thoughts:

If They Can Serve, Where Should They?
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Obviously, I always wanted my stronger leaders and Christians teaching the older children. We were a lot more selective for our elementary programming, and even upper preschool.  But I think the nursery is a great place for a new volunteer and for non-Christians. Think about this -- does someone really need to be a Christian in order to lovingly care for an infant? Of course not. 

Even with young preschoolers, when we would start using a curriculum, there is not much that someone can do to mess up the program, as long as they follow the lesson. Just about anyone can read a lesson, do crafts and activities, and love on kids. Preschoolers are going to collect small nuggets of truth. And besides, could this be a good opportunity for the non-Christian teacher to learn some biblical truths?

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Non-Christians could also run the audio-visual equipment for our band and drama teams. I know that there are lots of men who would feel comfortable here, and happy to be a part of something.

I could see where you could make a case where a non-Christian should not serve on welcome or hospitality teams, but I am good with them serving in this area, too. Especially how we structured this service area, serving on the Welcome Team gave the volunteers a great chance to connect with other folks during the “down time.”

I think there is a spectrum of possibilities of how a church could address this question. There are many factors involved, and more than likely, perspectives and operations will change over time. I encourage you to be open to doing something different, even if you’ve “never done it like that before.”  

But I have also learned to be careful of my own motives. Many times, I was caught up focused on the need for a “warm body” – anyone – who could fill a spot. So I had to be reminded (from others on staff or from nudges from the Holy Spirit) that I needed to focus on the needs and best interests of the adults in our ministry, not just the kids and weekly programming. We need to develop leaders in our church, for the long-term.

In what areas in a church would you be OK with a non-Christian serving (if any)? What cautions would you have?


  1. I think the overriding criteria for allowing anyone to serve anywhere is if and how God receives the glory from it. This criteria overrides the felt needs of non-believers and the children (although in most cases it may be the same).

    A great deal of Holy Spirit discernment and church (community) wisdom is necessary when dealing with these matters.

  2. Great, great point. It all needs to be about the Gospel and the glory of God.