Jump directly to the Content


How one decision about a church nursery school ignited a firestorm.

Memorial Day weekend 1988, we hid our children across town out of concern for their safety. Saturday night we walked the perimeter of our house with flashlights in hand, checking for bombs. It wasn't a normal weekend of ministry.

What do you do when a situation gets out of hand, when you can hardly keep ahead of the press, when people accuse you of terrible motives and deeds? In tense situations, ministry takes on new dimensions. This is the story of what happened when one church's board of elders decided one Tuesday evening to redirect the church's nursery school.

Over a Nursery School?

Sherman Oaks Presbyterian Church is a moderate-sized congregation in Los Angeles's San Fernando Valley, just over the hill from UCLA. The two of us had served the church as co-pastors for five years, seeing growth and other good signs.

The community of Sherman Oaks is upper-middle class, predominantly Jewish, and tied closely to the entertainment industry. Several television celebrities had placed children ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

The Dark Blight
The Dark Blight
What the new Batman movie says, and doesn't say, about the origins of evil.
From the Magazine
How Americans Got Away with Abortion Before ‘Roe v. Wade’
How Americans Got Away with Abortion Before ‘Roe v. Wade’
Looking ahead, Christians should focus less on enforcement than on changing cultural attitudes.
Editor's Pick
Pastors in Pain, Christ Can Redeem Your Suffering
Pastors in Pain, Christ Can Redeem Your Suffering
After many difficult years in ministry, I lost the strength to pastor. But Christ met me in weakness.