Guest post by Karen Twombly
I love ministry!! Serving God gives me such joy! When I was first married, I was delighted to serve alongside my husband in youth ministry. I remember someone remarking during that time that he and I were like peanut butter and jelly: always seen together!! Fast forward eight years and 3 kids later, my husband was a head pastor and someone new to our church thought he was single because I was often home with a sick little one, especially in the winter months.
I loved being home with my kids, but I went through a stage of frustration when my children were little because I often wished I could be “out there” serving God “amongst the people”. God had many lessons to teach me about ministering in my home as well as turning limitations into opportunities. I’d love to share those today as well as hear in the comments section if you might have more to add!
First, I think it is vital to note that not only is it perfectly fine for a woman to make her home and those in it her first ministry priority, it is what God wants for her to do. “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” Titus 2:3-5 We can also learn from the famous Proverbs 31 woman that her home was her focus as well as her base of operation. So, we see it is OKAY for a mom to forego ministries that can not be balanced with the needs at home.
What I would like to present are some ministry ideas that can fit into the schedule of a mom of young children.
A Ministry of Prayer-Wherever you are and whatever you are doing you can pray. Find a notebook or a nice prayer journal or even some note cards and start collecting prayer requests. Pray for your family, friends, church family, your pastor and family, church leaders, missionaries, unsaved loved ones. Pray and pray and pray some more! You can pray while you clean, change diapers, when you shower (on those wonderful days when you GET a shower (grin)), when you prepare meals. You can be a prayer warrior!
A Ministry of Correspondence-There are so many mediums to correspond with people today. Whether on paper, on Facebook, on a message board, on a blog, or in email, there are numerous opportunities to encourage believers or teach or share your faith. You could write to missionaries from your church, our men and women in the military. Letter writing fits in perfectly with motherhood because you can be interupted by little ones and pick right up where you left off when you have a moment again. It was during those years when my children were young that I got involved in online ministry. I found encouraging, teaching and writing online so fulfilling that when my kids got older I kept going with it!
A Ministry of Hospitality-The practice of hospitality has become more rare in this present generation. Therefore, it makes a huge statement when you invite people into your home. It is a great chance to love on someone when you are willing to let them come in and share a meal with you and your family. It can be very simple fare on paper plates. It doesn’t matter. It is the friendship and fellowship that makes a lasting mark on someone’s life. Don’t forget to put unsaved loved ones and neighbors on your list! You can reach the world for Jesus one meal at a time, one neighbor at a time!
A Ministry of “As You Are Going” Evangelism-Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Mt. 28:19) Did you know that the greek verb for “go” is a participle which literally means “as you are going?” So, “as you are going” to the doctor’s office, grocery store, beautician, or wherever, pray first that God will give you the opportunity to share with others the hope that you have in Jesus! I know if you pray and are alert to it, God will be faithful to give you those opportunities for you to sow spiritual seeds!
A Ministry of Light Church Office Work-If you have a computer at home, you could prepare the Sunday bulletin or do other important light office work for your church. I did the Sunday bulletin for a few years and really had fun with it. I loved finding little quotes or clip art to include in it each week to make it special. You could also send out letters to visitors or birthday/anniversary cards to church family.
A Ministry to Moms Just Like You-Think of what ministry would be a help and encouragement to you. Network to other young moms to see if there is an interest. Then, seek to staff it with moms of older kids or empty nesters. Perhaps you might even have some teen homeschoolers in your church that are available during the daytime to help care for the children. A mom in my present church planted just such a ministry. They meet bi-weekly. They have a Bible Study in one meeting and then a craft in the next and then Bible Study in the next and so on. That with some good food, fellowship and prayer and you have yourself a great mom’s ministry! Just be careful to fully staff it before you start it so that it isn’t too burdensome. If God is in it, it can be staffed.
There are many opportunities for young moms to be involved in ministry. If this is something that has been on your heart, I hope you will pray and ask God to show you those things that you can do. It’s okay to venture out, find out you’re in over your head, and then pull back. But, as the old saying goes, “nothing ventured nothing gained!” I hope you will share in the comments section ministries that you were able to be involved in while the kids were little as well as ideas you might be pondering!
Lovingly in Christ, Karen Twombly